MLB/MLBPA Grievance Arbitration to Start Monday

The MLBPA filed a grievance against MLBPA asserting that MLB did not schedule as many games as economically feasible in last year’s COVID shortened, ultimately 60 game season. If they win, it could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the players.

As a super-brief review, MLB suspended spring training last March as COVID-19 became a thing. They and MLBPA then negotiated an agreement. The first part was baseball would start up in full if all 30 venues could have fans in attendance—that was of course moot as there are still fan and travel restrictions now. The second part was an agreement to negotiate in good faith a reduction in the schedule with equitable revenue distribution for whatever number of games in whatever venues that could be used with or without fans there. The MLBPA interpretation was that 80 games means 80/162 of the base salary to the players. MLB said no, that there had to be give there because that’s not how their income was going to work either. Eventually negotiations stopped. The MLBPA told the commissioner to pick a report date. A 60 game season was played in which the players got 60 games of pay (and which, coincidentally or not, is about what they’d have overall gotten with the owners’ first sliding scale proposal).

Oh, and BTW, the current CBA expires 12/1/2021. The two sides are meeting regularly, reportedly without any real progress. Knock me over with a feather.

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