July 25 is the deadline for Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association to reach an agreement on an international player draft, which would replace the current international signing system and end the qualification offer system for agents. free from the big leagues. The two sides have been in negotiations for weeks, and ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez (everything Going through Twitter connections) reports that counter-proposals have been exchanged in the past two days. The union presented a new offer on Saturday, and the league quickly responded today with what MLB called a final offer.
“EThere has been some movement on the money,” Gonzalez writes, with the league increasing its offer of a $181 million bonus pool for the top 600 players to $191 million. Of course, that’s still well short of the $260 million bonus pool that the MLBPA was looking for and is still looking for, and it was unclear whether or not the league’s new proposal involved fixed slot prizes. According to earlier reports, the syndicate wanted slot prices to serve only as a minimum expense for assigned picks, while MLB wanted fixed slots that could not be exceeded for any pick.
Additionally, the two sides differed on the amount of money available for undrafted player signings, as the MLBPA wanted a $40,000 limit and the MLB only wanted $20,000. This other financial aspect was one of the many differences between the union and the league (as illustrated Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic), and it is unclear whether common ground on these issues has been reached.
There are certainly still hurdles, as Gonzalez notes that the MLBPA “is still unhappy with some of the other aspects of the league’s proposal. With less than 24 hours until the deadline, it seems unlikely that an agreement will be reached on the creation of an international project, given that the two parties remain at some distance from each other. Then again, in March, it didn’t look like a new collective bargaining agreement was going to be reached in time to avoid the cancellation of games, but the two parties managed to catch up a lot of ground fairly quickly in order to launch a shortened version of Spring. Training and a complete calendar of 162 matches.
The international draft issue was the last outstanding issue in the CBA’s offseason talks, as the two sides agreed to the new, broader collective bargaining agreement in March to end the lockout, and the Talks resumed this summer on the possibility of the project. If no agreement is reached, the current rules regarding the international signing system and qualifying offers would remain in place for the duration of the new CBA, which expires after the 2026 season.
In addition to acting as the last vestige of the CBA negotiations, the talks also have a huge impact on the business of baseball as a whole. Athletic’s Jim Bowden observes that with the international talent acquisition process and preliminary OQ-related pay undecided, teams have waited until after tomorrow’s deadline to make major commercial offers, as clubs want to be sure of their future avenues of development. ‘obtaining young talent before considering moving any current prospects to the August 2 trade deadline.