MLB: Season will be shortened if no deal by end of Monday

Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark, left, and chief negotiator Bruce Meyer arrive for contract negotiations at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. (Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post via AP)

Major League Baseball said Wednesday that the 2022 season will be shortened if no labor agreement has been reached by the end of Monday.

Management had maintained that was the deadline for a deal that would allow the season to start as scheduled on March 31. Players have not said whether they accept that timeframe, and there remains a sense both sides are awaiting more time pressure to force more major moves by the other.

The declaration from MLB came after another day of minor moves. Major League Baseball’s only new offer to players Wednesday was to increase the minimum salary by an additional $10,000 a year.

MLB upped its proposed minimum for this year to $640,000, with the figure rising by $10,000 in each additional season of a five-year agreement.

Players have asked for $775,000 in 2022, with $30,000 jumps each season.

There appeared to be little or no movement on the key issue of luxury tax thresholds and rates, or the size of the bonus pool for pre-arbitration players

New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer and Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole were involved in the talks on the third straight day of bargaining.

Free agent pitcher Andrew Miller and Yankees reliever Zack Britton also joined the negotiations on the 84th day of the lockout and were alongside Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor and Houston catcher Jason Castro. Those six are among the eight members of the union’s executive subcommittee, which supervises collective bargaining.

Texas infielder Marcus Semien and Boston pitcher James Paxton, the other two members, have not been seen during the talks at Roger Dean Stadium, the vacant spring training home of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.

Britton, Cole, Paxton, Scherzer and Semien are represented by Scott Boras, baseball’s most powerful agent.

Teams have told the union they will not decrease revenue sharing and will not add new methods for players to accrue service time, which players said are needed to prevent teams from holding players back to delay free agency.

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