JUPITER, Fla. -- Despite a long day of conversations between MLB and the MLBPA on Sunday, the sides still remain far apart on a new collective bargaining agreement, a union source told ESPN.
The six-plus hours of meetings came a day before a league-imposed deadline that will trigger the cancellation of regular-season games. If the sport doesn't have a new collective bargaining agreement by the end of negotiations on Monday, Opening Day on March 31 will be canceled along with potentially a week's worth of games.
The league has indicated it wants about four weeks of spring training before opening the season, hence the Feb. 28 deadline in order to play on March 31.
The sides will meet again Monday morning for an eighth consecutive bargaining session. A union source indicated it's ready to stay as long as it takes to reach an agreement. The league has said the same. A league source called Sunday a "productive" day of conversations, but no new proposals on core economics were exchanged, nor were any outstanding issues resolved.
The sides remain far apart on many items including minimum salaries, the competitive balance tax, Super 2 expansion, revenue sharing, an expanded postseason and a new pre-arbitration bonus pool. The league stated last week that if regular-season games are canceled, they won't be made up nor will players be paid for a 162-game season. The union contends it's likely to negotiate back pay in any return-to-play scenario.
But first, an agreement has to be reached. Sunday had smaller group conversations beginning with league negotiator Dan Halem meeting with union lawyer Bruce Meyer. Owners stayed in their boardrooms while league lawyers then spoke with union counterparts along with three players on the subcommittee: Max Scherzer, Marcus Semien and Andrew Miller.
Several meetings, both together and in their own caucuses, took place throughout the day before the sides ended negotiations after 7 p.m. ET. If there's no agreement on Monday, it will be the first time regular-season games have been canceled due to a work stoppage since a players strike in 1994-95.
The current stoppage occurred when owners locked out players after the last collective bargaining agreement expired in December. Commissioner Rob Manfred indicated he was hopeful locking out the players would actually jump-start negotiations.
It has done anything but.