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MLB lockout update: MLB, MLBPA agree on international draft deadline

With this out of the way, the two sides will go back to negotiating core financial issues

MLB: Lockout The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK

The MLB and the MLB Players Association have come to an agreement on the future of the international draft, a subject that seemed to scuttle Wednesday’s negotiations.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the two sides have agreed to set a July 25, 2022 deadline on whether to institute an international draft beginning in 2024. If a deal to hold such a draft is reached before then, the qualifying offer — something that the PA would like to remove — will vanish. If there is no deal by that deadline, the qualifying offer will remain in place and the international draft system will go unchanged.

The league and the players’ union seemed to make real progress Wednesday toward reaching a happy medium on some of the key financial issues before the topic of an international draft appeared to sour negotiations. The union has long said that an international draft is a non-starter for their side The league reportedly presented the players with three options yesterday regarding an international draft:

  1. Agree to an international draft starting in 2024, the qualifying offer is eliminated.
  2. Agree to no international draft, the qualifying offer stays
  3. Set a Nov. 15 deadline to agree to an international draft. The qualifying offer is eliminated, but if there is no agreement before that deadline, the league can opt out of the CBA after the 2024 season.

The union countered this proposal, which the league then rejected and, soon thereafter, announced the removal of all regular-season games from the calendar through April 13.

With this hurdle cleared for now, the two sides can get back to reaching a compromise on the key financial issues, such as the competitive balance tax, minimum salary and the arbitration bonus pool. The differences there remain fairly wide, but they are closing after progress was made Wednesday.

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, here is where MLB and the MLBPA stand on those issues:

CBT: MLB proposes $230 million and increases each year, up to $242 million in 2026. The PA proposes $232 million and increases each year, up to $250 million in 2026.

Minimum salary: MLB proposes $700,000 and increases each year, up to $770,000. The PA proposes $710,000 with increases each year, up to $780,000 in 2026

Arbitration bonus pool: MLB proposes $40 million for each year The PA proposes $65 million with increases each year, up to $85 million in 2026.

There is still a lot of work to do here, but we are coming closer to a new collective bargaining agreement. The resolution of the international draft issue (at least for now) is good news.