Little progress toward collective bargaining agreement as talks continue between MLB, MLBPA

JUPITER, Fla. -- Day 2 of in-person meetings Tuesday between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA once again produced little progress toward a new collective bargaining agreement while the league actually viewed the negotiations as a step back.

The union cut down on its proposal for players to enter arbitration after two years, from 80% of players to 75%, but countered that by asking for more in its minimum salary structure.

Instead of minimum salary raises of $25,000, the union asked for $30,000 each year of the deal. Since the Super 2 issue is a non-starter for the league, it viewed the combination of tweaks moving away from an agreement not toward one. The league says it doesn't have the votes to expand Super 2 beyond the 22% who enter the system currently -- so the union can ask for any amount above that but it won't get it.

Talks once again took place at Roger Dean Stadium where the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins train.

League officials met with counterparts from the MLBPA, along with a group of players, for about three hours on Tuesday. Like Monday, the sides met together and then on their own but little came out of the negotiations. In fact, the league brought up the idea of using a federal mediator, and for the second time in two weeks, the union shot it down.

Though the competitive balance tax came up in conversations, neither side made a new proposal on that subject. To that end, it's likely to be the game-changer if one side can satisfy the other with a new idea or offer.

Tuesday's tweak to the minimum salary structure by the union produced a new model. The minimum in Year 1 would be $775,000. It would go up to $805,000 in Year 2, $835,000 in Year 3, $865,000 in Year 4 and $895,000 in Year 5 of the deal. The league is offering a starting minimum of $630,000 in 2022.

The sides will meet again on Wednesday as spring training remains on hold until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached or the owners decide to lift the lockout. A deadline to play on Opening Day is approaching.

Most involved believe players need approximately four weeks of spring training to be ready for the season.