Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) met for a fourth consecutive day of negotiations on Thursday in Jupiter, Florida, although the union returned to the table with only two gradual changes to its previous proposals. .
The two areas they addressed were the Draft lottery and service time manipulation, while the MLBPA’s positions on larger issues such as Super 2 eligibility, the fund for players not yet eligible for arbitration, the competitive balance tax and profit sharing remained the same.
The MLBPA’s adjustment to its draft lottery proposal had to do with reducing penalties for small-market teams that finish in that lottery in consecutive seasons, though the union is still asking that the top seven picks in a lottery-style to that of the NBA.
MLB has offered a system under which the top four picks would be chosen by lottery, the same number used by the NBA and double the number used by the NHL system.
The other change in the union’s proposal Thursday was regarding the possibility of awarding an additional year of service time to rookies based on their positions in award voting and/or their positions on WAR lists at the end of the season at their respective defensive positions.
Under the previous proposal, rookies would have received a full year of service for finishing in the top seven (for catchers, infielders and designated hitters) or top 20 (for outfielders, starters and relievers). Thursday’s proposal offered reductions to the top five and top 15, respectively.
MLB has set Monday as the deadline to reach an agreement and allow Opening Day to take place on March 31, as scheduled. The league said once games are canceled — which they will be if a deal isn’t reached by Monday’s deadline — they won’t be rescheduled.
The two sides will resume talks on Friday at Roger Dean Stadium, in what will be the fifth straight day of meetings.
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MLB receives another proposal from the MLBPA