Report: MLB players request changes to free agency, arbitration in CBA negotiations
The collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and its players' union will expire at midnight, and while both sides continue discussions leading up to the deadline, a lockout seems possible.
The players are insisting on massive changes, including ensuring free agency after five years of service time or by the age of 29 1/2 - whichever comes first - as well as beginning the arbitration process after two years instead of three, according to ESPN's Jesse Rogers. The owners are apparently not interested in meeting these requests, according to Rogers' sources.
Players have also recommended some other ideas, such as advertising patches on jerseys, a 12-team postseason (which would include realigning each league into two divisions), and increasing the luxury-tax threshold for teams from $210 million to $240 million.
Meanwhile, owners have offered the inclusion of an NBA-style draft lottery to potentially prevent clubs from tanking, as well as eliminating free-agent draft-pick compensation.
Additionally, MLB is interested in expanding the playoffs to 14 teams and feels comfortable with all players becoming free agents at 29 1/2 regardless of how much service time they've accrued. The league also proposed a WAR-based system to determine salary in arbitration.
MLB and its players expect to meet once again on Wednesday, according to Rogers. If the two sides cannot come to a resolution before midnight, all communication between clubs and players on their 40-man rosters will be cut off until they can agree on a new pact.