View Full Version : MLB and MLBPA close to new labor agreement

Chip R
10-20-2006, 01:34 PM
No posturing about a strike or lockout? No whining about teams losing money? Someone better alert the Milwaukee police because I think Bud Selig has been killed. ;)


Major League Baseball and the players union are close to an agreement on a new labor contract and are hoping to have a deal in place by this weekend, The New York Times reported on its Web site Thursday night, citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the negotiations.

"We have been talking and we continue to talk," union leader Donald Fehr told the Times. He declined to comment further.

Rob Manfred, the MLB executive in charge of labor issues, did not return a message from the newspaper.

Labor talks have been ongoing since early in the season, and the Times reported that negotiations have lasted into the night recently and that talks also were held last weekend.

According to the Times, no major changes are expected in the new labor deal, though revenue sharing and the payroll tax have been the key topics of discussion at negotiations.

The existing labor deal, which has been in place since 2002, will expire Dec. 19.

10-20-2006, 01:38 PM
That's stunning if they are truly that close to a deal. I was really expecting some sort of lock out or strike either this season or next, if they temporarily extended the current deal. I thought the major sticking point would be drug/steriod testing.

Strikes Out Looking
10-20-2006, 02:27 PM
Wow. The fact (if the story is true) that this isn't going down to the wire, with the owners vowing to shut everything down unless the players give back something is just amazing, and is probably the first time since the union was formed in the late 60's that this has happened.

Maybe the owners have finally figured out that the NFL and the NBA are the competition, not the players.

10-20-2006, 03:58 PM
Or more likely the owners know they have little chance of ever beating the players so they won't even try again.

10-20-2006, 04:53 PM
The simple truth is, there's really nothing for which either side feels compelled to go to the wall this time. The status quo is, if not ideal, at least something both players and owners can live with. Player compensation has stabilized and most teams are making some money*. Competitive balance is not ideal but the war that might have materialized over the Yankees hasn't, because they stopped winning the World Series. As for the drug testing, that battle has largely been fought and decided.

* Edited to say, I believe they're making money when the whole picture is considered like related party transactions etc.

10-21-2006, 12:31 AM
The only way they will have a work stoppage is if the Cincinnati Reds are in first place and/or have one of the best teams in Major League Baseball...

1972: NL Champs
1973: NL West Champs (99-63 -- best record in MLB)
1976: World Champs
1980: 89-73 -- 3.5 games out
1981: Best record in MLB
1985: 89-72 -- 5.5 games out
1990: World Champs
1994: 1st place (6th best record in MLB)
1995: NL Central Champs and won LDS (4th best record in MLB)

Labor unrest or lack thereof in MLB depends purely on the fortunes of the Reds. As soon as the Reds are set to make a run, the strikes and lockouts shall begin.

10-21-2006, 01:43 AM
Negotiators are expected to eliminate draft-choice compensation for lost free agents, a step they came close to taking four years ago.

Link (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/20/sports/baseball/20labor.html)

Chip R
10-21-2006, 07:54 AM
Negotiators are expected to eliminate draft-choice compensation for lost free agents, a step they came close to taking four years ago.

That should mean more trades.

10-21-2006, 01:32 PM
It's probably a good step. It was a vestige of the owners' fears at the beginning of the free-agent era. In reality, the big clubs got many of the compensatory picks because they pluck expensive or about-to-be-expensive players from other clubs via trade. It also complicated the process because a team had to offer arbitration to the player (and have it rejected) to get the compensatory pick, and sometimes that didn't go the way the club liked, e.g. the Maddux example of a few years ago.

Caveat Emperor
10-21-2006, 01:49 PM
Negotiators are expected to eliminate draft-choice compensation for lost free agents, a step they came close to taking four years ago.

I've been wanting this for years -- the measure does nothing but make the rich teams richer by rewarding them for having the ability to keep players in contract years around to the end of the season, as opposed to trading them off for younger players as most teams are forced to do.

I wonder if they'll tinker with the draft a little more and allow teams to start dealing picks as well...

10-21-2006, 03:55 PM
I wonder if they'll tinker with the draft a little more and allow teams to start dealing picks as well...

Word is they will also institute a slotting system for draft bonuses. Something tells me that will be a huge step in that direction.

10-21-2006, 10:37 PM
slotting system? what in the world is that?

10-21-2006, 10:53 PM
Or more likely the owners know they have little chance of ever beating the players so they won't even try again.

Interesting comment, Krono. I know what you are saying. However, do any MLB owners rely on that "job" to pay their bills or do they all do it as an afterthought to millions (or billions) made in another line-of-work (inheritance, etc)? And where can the players make serious money without MLB? You'd think that owners can holdout a lot longer than the players. Even though most players are filthy rich, they are not near as filthy rich as the owners and do not have other means for income without MLB. I think the onwers could beat the players over a length of time. A length of time that us fans would hate to suffer through and do not want to see.

10-21-2006, 11:50 PM
Some owners have a lot of wealth. Others don't. But in either case, buying an MLB franchise has become so expensive that it's the norm for most of the money to be borrowed. If I remember right, the guy who bought the Dodgers did it with a OPM (Other People's Money) deal and pretty much all of it was borrowed. It costs them millions annually just in debt service.

Combine that with the difficulty of beating the union, and they won't shut down the game for a long time until they feel they must. That's what happened with the NHL lockout -- they lost less money not playing than playing, so they could afford to wait as long as it took. That's not the situation in baseball right now.

10-21-2006, 11:56 PM
slotting system? what in the world is that?

It means that signing bonuses are largely predetermined based on draft position. The exact means varies. For example, the NFL has a "rookie cap" that varies by team and is based on the picks they make. A team can't vary from the suggested amounts by much or it won't be able to sign its other picks.

The idea is to prevent players from making excessive bonus demands that scare off the teams at the top of the draft.

10-22-2006, 05:29 AM
I wish they would fix the blackout rules. :bang:

10-22-2006, 02:32 PM
Per Ken Rosenthal on Foxsports

- 5 year deal
- Draft Pick compensation will not be eliminated but revised.


10-22-2006, 04:14 PM
I wish they would fix the blackout rules. :bang:

Players don't care and the owners like it the way it is, sadly.:(

10-22-2006, 04:18 PM
If they don't fix the free agency of international players, it will be a colossal mistake, IMO. I was floored they didn't add an international draft to the last one. The ability to outibd other teams for every international player that comes to the US is one of the most significant inequities in the game. They know this, and I don't think it's something the players association would object to. Why are they not instituting an international draft?

Jr's Boy
10-22-2006, 06:02 PM
slotting system? what in the world is that?


Newport Red
10-22-2006, 09:30 PM
ESPN.com: Baseball [Print without images]

Sunday, October 22, 2006
Players, owners agree to tentative 5-year labor deal

ESPN.com news services

DETROIT -- Baseball players and owners have reached a tentative agreement on a five-year labor contract, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The sides worked out the deal during bargaining in New York on Friday night and Saturday, but it is subject to the sides putting the contract in writing, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not official.

In the often bitter history of baseball labor relations, reaching agreement before a contract's expiration has to be considered a milestone. The current deal, set to expire Dec. 19, was agreed to in August 2002, just hours before players were set to strike.

Lawyers were working on drafting language for the new deal Sunday, and hoped to put the finishing touches on it Monday or Tuesday. If they are able to meet that goal, commissioner Bud Selig would announce it in St. Louis at the World Series.

"Baseball is at an all-time high point right now," Detroit's Craig Monroe said before Game 2 of the World Series. "You've got low-market teams doing well and different teams winning every year. Getting this done couldn't have come at a better time."

"I think both sides know there's no point in dragging it out or putting it in the minds of the fans that this is a money issue," Curtis Granderson, Detroit's alternate player representative, told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. "As soon as you lock it up, it's a baseball issue, and people can look forward to coming back and watching baseball.
"You look at the record attendance and the record amount of money being spent on the game, and there's no point to mess with it. If you have a chance to keep it going smoothly, the best way to do that is to lock it up quick, get both sides happy and move on."

Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, declined comment. Union head Donald Fehr did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

Most of the key provisions of the current contract will be continued with minor modifications, such as revenue sharing and the luxury tax. With the luxury tax set to expire on Dec. 19, there was pressure on management to make a deal to ensure that the 2007 season would be played with the tax in place.

"I think we're all for certainty and not going through a winter of wondering what's going to be going on," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "I applaud the powers with the union and the MLB. Helps us go about our business."

Record economic success helped produce an agreement with no public rancor. Selig said last week that he estimated the sport will produce $5.2 billion in revenue this year. It was about $3.6 billion in 2001.

Selig credited the changes in the 2002 agreement with making more teams competitive.

"I had dreams of things getting better but, no, in many ways this has exceeded my fondest expectations," he said Tuesday night in St. Louis. "This sport has more parity than ever. We have more parity than any other sport. It's remarkable."

An agreement had been anticipated by officials on both sides in recent days.

"This is a setting of success. It's a platform, a stage that's been built through very difficult times," agent Scott Boras said Sunday. "To do anything to alter that success would be something that wouldn't be in the best interests of the game."

The huge influx of money smoothed negotiations. The average player salary was $1.1 million in 1995, the first season after the 7½-month strike that wiped out the 1994 World Series. It rose to just under $2.3 million in 2002 and will be about $2.7 million this year. The average likely will top $3 million next year or in 2008.

Still, the very top of the salary scale has stayed the same since Alex Rodriguez signed his record $252 million, 10-year contract with Texas before the 2001 season. And in a sign that spending doesn't translate into postseason success, the New York Yankees failed to advance past the opening round of the playoffs in 2005 and 2006 despite a $200 million annual payroll.

"The business of baseball is being operated much more efficiently," said Boras, who negotiated Rodriguez's deal. "Owners are becoming better owners. League officials are becoming more aware of the opportunity for content both nationally and internationally. The force of the revenue streams basically put the collective bargaining process into a different framework than it's been in the past."

An AP-AOL Sports poll released Thursday shows that only one-third of Americans call themselves fans of professional baseball -- about the level of support for the last decade, but lower than 1990 and among all Americans. Skyrocketing salaries were identified as the biggest problem in baseball by more poll respondents -- 28 percent -- than any other, including steroids.
Information from The Associated Pres was used in this report.


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10-23-2006, 01:43 PM
from Gammons ... for those interested

No pay-for-performance. No salary cap.

Just labor peace and a lot of money.

Salaries are going to keep going up and the Reds will continue to bottom feed.

cincinnati chili
10-25-2006, 02:00 AM

"Amateur Draft: Players selected in the June amateur draft who aren't college seniors must sign by Aug. 15."

Am I mistaken, or does this mean that draft & follows will no longer exist?

10-25-2006, 05:31 AM

"Amateur Draft: Players selected in the June amateur draft who aren't college seniors must sign by Aug. 15."

Am I mistaken, or does this mean that draft & follows will no longer exist?

you are correct

10-25-2006, 10:41 AM

New Agreement Includes Draft, Rule 5 Changes
By Alan Schwarz

ST. LOUIS -- Overshadowed by more wide-ranging issues and the sheer euphoria of an agreement between Major League Baseball and the Players Association being reached with no rancor or threats of a work stoppage, the structure of the new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement announced yesterday between labor and management did carry some significant changes to baseball’s amateur draft and player-development pipeline.

Several draft alterations, ranging from a uniform Aug. 15 signing deadline to compensation for unsigned picks, will change how both teams and players experience the process, as well as how much and when money changes hands.

The most notable changes are those that deal with draft-pick compensation--both for teams that fail to sign a high pick as well as those who lose major league free agents in the offseason.

Teams that fail to sign a first-round pick no longer receive an extra pick after the first round as compensation, but instead a virtually identical pick the following year; for example, a team that fails to sign the No. 5 pick one year will receive the No. 6 pick the next, rather than one in the 30s or 40s. The same compensation also now exists for unsigned second-round picks, while a team that fails to sign a third-round pick will receive a sandwich pick between the third and fourth rounds.

The new system should decrease the growth of bonus payments to amateurs, as teams can walk away from negotiations with the reassurance of having a similar pick the next year. (Although that compensation pick, if unsigned, is not subject to compensation, which keeps clubs from using it over and over.) Clubs have for years wanted a system of prescribed, slotted bonuses for every high pick but learned early in the negotiations that the union would not accept it, so instead focused on stronger compensation rules.

"The concern with clubs was to get that club that was drafting as much leverage that they can have, so they can select the best player they possibly can," said former Cubs president Andy MacPhail, a member of ownership’s negotiation team. To the extent that bonus offers will probably either decrease or not grow as quickly because teams can walk away more comfortably, union executive director Donald Fehr said, "It will clearly have an effect. It will clearly not put (players) in the position that they would have been in had slotting been accepted. You have to find compromises."

One other change to the amateur draft is a uniform signing date of Aug. 15 for all players (other than college seniors), replacing the longtime and clumsy deadline of the moment a player literally attends his first four-year college class. In addition to creating some order for all involved--from teams to players to college coaches wanting an earlier idea of their incoming class--this also eliminates the junior-college, draft-and-follow rule in which players who attended two-year schools could sign with their drafting club until one week before the following draft.

Several ideas that have been discussed over the years, such as the trading of draft picks and an either supplemental or combined draft of all players worldwide, were not adopted. Also, the draft will continue to be held in June rather than be moved to July.

"The changes in the draft will help the teams in the bottom of the industry," MLB CEO Bob DuPuy said, "because they’re getting better draft picks."

Some changes have been made to the draft-pick compensation afforded teams which lose major league free agents. Type C free agents have been eliminated, while teams that lose Type B free agents, which had previously received a second-round pick from the signing club, will now get a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds. (This was pursued by the union to remove the disincentive for teams to sign those players.) Those changes go into effect immediately.

The number of players deemed Type A and B has been tweaked as well. Type A free agents, whose former team continue to receive a first- or second-round pick from the signing club as well as an extra pick between the first and second rounds, will be reduced from the 30 percent of players (as determined by a statistical formula) to 20; the Type B band is reduced from 31-50 percent to 21-40.

These changes will take effect next offseason, allowing clubs which lose free agents this winter the same compensation they had always expected. Teams must still offer players salary arbitration to receive draft-pick compensation, though the deadline for that offer was moved up from Dec. 7 to Dec. 1.

The first-year player draft, also known as the Rule 4 draft, was not the only draft process altered by the new CBA. The major league portion of the Rule 5 draft will be affected by giving teams one extra year to protect players from it.

Rather than teams being allowed three years (for players signed at age 19 or older) or four years (for players 18 and younger) before leaving them off the 40-man roster subjects them to the Rule 5 draft, those periods have been lengthened to four and five. Ownership considered this a significant boost in their efforts to operate their minor league systems more effectively.

"It gives the clubs more flexibility with their roster," said MacPhail, who added that the cost to select a player ($50,000) or get him back from the selecting club ($25,000) remain the same.

"Anytime you can give them more tools to operate as efficiently as they possibly can is something we strive to do," he continued. "There are a lot of kids at that stage where you’re just not quite sure whether you want to get that clock ticking--the last thing you want to do is take a talented 22-year-old kid who’s not ready and you develop him for somebody else. Or often you’ll see guys taken out of A-ball who aren’t close but they get plucked out of the Midwest League. You try to let the developing clubs get as much time as they possibly can to make the best decisions they can."

This rule applies to this current offseason, meaning that many minor league players who had expected to either be placed on the 40-man roster or be subject to the Rule 5 draft will have to wait another year. The union did negotiate a higher minimum salary for 40-man roster players optioned to the minor leagues ($60,000 next year), but acknowledged that this was a significant concession to ownership.

"That was one of the major things we had to give up, no question about it--to me it was the worst thing we had to give up," said Diamondbacks infielder Craig Counsell, a player representative to the union negotiating team. "Some players, especially immediately, are going to be hurt by that--this year. But in the end, you have to give up something to get something."

10-25-2006, 01:49 PM
Looks like the owners were adamant about constructing a firewall against Scott Boras.