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MLB Lockout: Owners, Players Met on Thursday

A league-wide DH, expanded playoffs, free agency years, and a draft lottery were among the several topics touched on Thursday. Opening Day is just under 11 weeks away.

World Series - Atlanta Braves v Houston Astros - Game One Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

On Thursday, Major League Baseball’s owners and players had their first CBA negotiations since the lockout began back on December 2nd. The owners made a proposal, but it doesn’t seem like any common ground was found between the two sides. The session lasted about an hour, according to The Associated Press, and MLB hoped their proposal would at least ‘generate momentum.’

Jeff Passan of ESPN first reported on Wednesday that the two sides would meet the following day. Jeff, fittingly, had a recap of that meeting shortly after it concluded.

Other bits of supporting information came out Thursday afternoon from many reporters, including Susan Slusser, Ben Nicholson-Smith, and Jon Heyman.

There were several topics that came up in MLB’s proposal to the players on Thursday, in addition to the DH, expanded playoffs, and lowering of free agency years noted above.

MLB owners want a draft lottery consisting of the three teams with the worst records; the players want a draft lottery, too, but with eight teams instead of three. Another piece of the proposal is tied into prospects and service time. If a team has a top-100 ranked prospect who finishes in the top 5 in voting for the games’ major awards (such as MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) during one of his arbitration years, his team would receive an extra draft pick. So, knowing that an additional draft pick may result, teams may be more likely to promote their top prospects sooner, rather than hold them back due to service time reasons.

Generally, in a normal year, pitchers and catchers would report to Spring Training about a month from now. Spring Training tickets are on sale, and the Cardinals’ first exhibition game is scheduled for Saturday, February 26th. Opening Day of the MLB season is scheduled for Thursday, March 31st — exactly 11 weeks separated from a meeting between the owners and players that seemingly accomplished very little.

Hopefully, the two sides can avoid another 42-day gap in conversation, and we will have another meeting to talk about soon.