There’s still a chance for a 162-game season, but a deal may have to happen today for that to remain possible.
MLB and the MLBPA have been negotiating for the past few days. Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that a 162-game season could still happen with a deal today (Tuesday), but if a deal is not in place, another week of games will be cancelled. While the owners did budge a bit on the competitive balance tax, increasing it from $220 million to $228 million, it’s still short of the $238 million the players want to start the new CBA. There’s still plenty of other points of debate to cover as well. While a deal is possible, it could take some time to get one in place.
If a deal is not in place on Tuesday, and more games are cancelled, the negotiations could become even more complicated than they already are. A few new aspects of the deal could come into dispute. If a full season is not played, full pay and service time could be off the table, which the players want in place no matter how long the season ends up being. In addition, if the players cannot get full pay and service time, they have said they will not agree to expanded playoffs. As a result, getting an agreement in place will become more difficult if a full season can’t be played.
The main question right now is the motivation of this report. This could just be MLB trying to ramp up pressure on the players, saying that they have to reach a deal today to get full pay and service time. It could also be another push to gain the favor of the public, with owners saying that they are making efforts to reach a deal but the players aren’t agreeing to one.
Either way, Tuesday will be an important day in the negotiations. If a deal happens, we could still get a full season with minimal delay. If not, the tension in these talks will continue to grow.