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#pounditThursday, January 27, 2022

Report: MLB will take hard line on economic issues in labor negotiations

If you needed another suggestion that the upcoming labor negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA are going to be very difficult, commissioner Rob Manfred provided one Wednesday.

According to Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports, Manfred told the MLBPA in negotiations Wednesday that there is “not going to be a deal where we pay you in economics to get labor peace.” He also added that “maybe Marvin Miller’s financial system doesn’t work anymore.”

Those in the room came away with the belief that Manfred’s statement on Miller could mean that the owners will pursue a salary cap or significant changes to the free agency and arbitration systems that have been in place for nearly 50 years, though Manfred’s lack of clarity means his words are open to interpretation.

Essentially, get ready for a major labor fight. Players are unhappy at the state of free agency and the reluctance of numerous teams to spend money. One player even suggested that a strike may be the only way to fix the state of the game. If MLB is going to stick to its guns on economic issues, the odds of a work stoppage of some sort increase significantly.

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