Attorneys and accountants report Thursday.
Not quite as exciting as pitchers and catchers, but that’s all Major League Baseball has to offer at the moment.
Multiple sources confirmed that representatives from MLB and the MLB Players Association will meet Thursday to collectively bargain once again, as first reported by USA Today. The players will take their turn at a counteroffer after they left Saturday’s session, in which the owners proposed a new package, underwhelmed.
With spring training unofficially delayed — the official announcement must come soon, with the first exhibition games scheduled for Feb. 26 — the two sides face a soft deadline of Feb. 28 to close on a new Basic Agreement without postponing the start of the regular season, which is scheduled for March 31. They face a daunting task, as wide gulfs exist on nearly all of the core economic issues, from arbitration eligibility to revenue sharing to the minimum salary to a draft lottery (to combat tanking) to a bonus pool for successful young players to the policing of service-time manipulation to the number of teams that should be eligible for the playoffs.
The only key areas of agreement to date are the expansion of the designated hitter to the National League and the elimination of direct compensation for free agents.