Morning Chronicle - MLB says talks 'productive' but threat to Opening Day looms

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MLB says talks 'productive' but threat to Opening Day looms
MLB says talks 'productive' but threat to Opening Day looms

MLB says talks 'productive' but threat to Opening Day looms

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association met for a seventh consecutive day on Sunday in Jupiter, Florida, trying to hammer out a deal before economic issues delay the start of the season.

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An MLB source called the meetings "productive," according to a report on, although a union source told USA Today that the sides remained "very far apart" on key issues.

The parties are scheduled to reconvene on Monday morning to continue bargaining.

MLB has said a deal must be reached on Monday for the regular season to open as scheduled on March 31.

It has already delayed the start of pre-season exhibition games, which were originally scheduled to start on February 26 but now will not begin until March 8 at the earliest.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has said that based on injury data and the experience of the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, Spring Training should be at least four weeks long for players to properly prepare for the season.

Neither side offered specifics of Sunday's meetings, with USA Today reporting they "have yet to agree on a single major economic issue."

MLB locked out players on December 2 after the previous collective bargaining agreement expired.

At the time Manfred said the lockout was to increase the sense of urgency in negotiations, although weeks passed before talks began in earnest on how to split the profits from billions in revenue.

Issues under discussion include when players can become eligible for salary arbitration and the size of a pre-arbitration bonus pool.

The sides are also divided on minimum salaries, luxury tax rates and thresholds, a union proposal to have clubs reduce revenue sharing and playoff expansion. Players want 12 teams in the post-season and owners are seeking 14.

The continuing impasse threatens the prospect that each team will play a full 162-game schedule in 2022. Loss of games is an outcome that Manfred has acknowledged would be "disastrous" two years after Covid-19 saw the 2020 campaign cut to just 60 games per club.