I put met in quotes in the title of this post because the meeting lasted 15 minutes. Hey, wait, that’s more than twice as long as the Dec 1 meeting—you know, the last one before the lockout began! It was supposed to be about the core financial issues. Instead it was an airing of displeasure by the players’ negotiators about the minimal movement made in the last owners’ proposal after it had been talked up by the commissioner last week. The MLBPA made a counter proposal regarding the prearbitration bonus pool—suggesting 80% of second year players become “super 2” arbitration eligible (they have wanted all second year players to be arbitration eligible) but paired it with making the owners funding the bonus pool at $115M, an increase from the $100M in their last offer.
Interesting negotiation strategy—“We want $105M.” “We will give you $10M.” “We will take $100M.” “$15M” “$115M” Yep, this is not ending soon.
The players’ reps were also angry about how little movement there was on the competitive balance tax (luxury tax) thresholds, and didn’t make any counteroffer. Likewise, there was no talking about the minimum salary, revenue sharing nor service time manipulation.
Supposedly the two sides will meet tomorrow about non-core issues.
Of note, after the 15-minute meeting, Dan Halem and Bruce Meyer, the lead negotiators, had a side meeting—just the two of them—for about 20 minutes. Obviously that’s longer than the actual meeting. The substance of that discussion hasn’t been reported anywhere I’ve read. However, it was described as “uncommonly candid.” For some reason, my imagination is interpreting that as twenty minutes of creative name calling. “You bombastic maladroit!” “Bloviating prat!” “Stercoraceous troglodyte!” “Ostrobogulous annelid!”