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MLB Players Association rejects league’s offer for universal DH in exchange for expanded playoffs

Tensions are high as the current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire after 2021.

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Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

MLB and the MLBPA have been in talks about the universal DH and an expanded playoffs for 2021. It was reported earlier today, however, that the union has rejected the initial proposal by MLB.

MLB offered the universal DH plus “extra money” and an expanded playoffs. The Union turned it down. That “extra money” was, in reality, a promise to return to 2019 levels of distribution. The union is hesistant to once again agree to an expanded postseason as the belief is that it dilutes the competitive integrity of the game. If more teams qualify for the playoffs, the cost of a marginal win becomes diminished, and the union believes this will lead to more difficulties when it comes to players finding contracts and being properly compensated in free agency.

At this point, there is no word as to whether talks are ongoing or not, but reports suggest tensions are high. The two sides have less than a month before Spring Training begins to get something done unless the season is otherwise delayed. Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic wrote of the tensions between the two sides:

League officials...are frustrated by what they perceive to be the union’s refusal to negotiate, and point to a separate discussion involving the designated hitter, expanded postseason and other matters as the latest example, in their view, of the union’s intransigence.

The animosity between the two sides is obvious. What it means for the universal DH, expanded playoffs, delaying the season, etc... is up in the air. What the tensions mean as the current collective bargaining agreement expires following the 2021 season is anyone’s guess too. At this point, things don’t look that promising.