Late last night, The Associated Press moved an update on MLB’s negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. The last major issue involves a slotting system for the draft. Putting such a system in place would eliminate a team’s ability to spend big money to sign late-round picks, a strategy the Yankees have used in the past. Here’s the update from the AP.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — While the NBA struggles with negotiations during its lockout, signing bonuses for amateur draft picks is the last major issue left in talks for baseball’s new labor contract.
Representatives for players and owners met Tuesday in New York, people familiar with the session told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcements were authorized.
Commissioner Bud Selig wants a system of fixed signing bonuses that tie the amount to when a prospect is drafted, known as slotting. Players have traditionally said the signing bonuses should be the subject of negotiation.
While draft bonuses are the last big issue, those provisions are tied to other parts of the agreement, such as the luxury tax, the reserve system and the minimum salary, the people said.
Players and owners have come to an understanding on how to handle testing for human growth hormone, but not necessarily a definitive agreement, one of the people said.
The current agreement expires Dec. 11, and talks have proceeded throughout the year without the rancor that surrounded negotiations during the NFL and NBA lockouts.
Following eight work stoppages from 1972-95, baseball has had labor peace since the 7½-month strike in 1994-95 that canceled the World Series for the first time in nine decades. The sides agreed to a contract in August 2002, hours before the scheduled start of a strike, to conclude an agreement without a work stoppage for the first time since 1970. They struck a deal in 2006 on the day of World Series Game 3 in St. Louis, nearly two months before their agreement was to expire.