Report: Players unhappy with MLB's proposal after hour-long meeting
Major League Baseball and the players' association held a bargaining session on Thursday for the first time since the lockout began, but the union left unhappy after receiving the league's economic proposal, ESPN's Jeff Passan reports.
The meeting lasted about one hour. While no further sessions are scheduled at the moment, the union is planning to present a counteroffer at some point in the near future, sources told Ronald Blum of The Associated Press.
MLB's proposal included ideas geared toward curbing service-time manipulation - a key issue players want addressed. They discussed awarding draft picks to teams that don't manipulate the service time of top-ranked prospects, and tweaked their initial proposal for a draft lottery, sources told Passan.
Owners included a tiered proposal that would raise the minimum salary to $600,000 for players with less than one year of service time, which could rise to as much as $700,000 for two-plus years, reports Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith. Players have countered with a $775,000 minimum.
The sides remain at a standstill on many key issues, the most notable of which is free agency. MLB did not propose any structural changes to free-agent eligibility and still plans to leave it at six years of service time, sources told Blum. Players are pushing to lower eligibility to five years, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Owners also refused to budge on raising the luxury-tax thresholds, according to Blum.
The owners' proposal also included a 14-team expanded playoff format, according to Nicholson-Smith.
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report for the start of spring training on Feb. 16. In order to stay on schedule for camp, and potentially the start of the regular season, the sides will likely have to reach an agreement by the end of January.
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