MLB, union meet ahead of deadline to salvage 162-game season

On the 97th day of baseball’s second-longest work stoppage, the sides met in person for the third straight day.

NEW YORK (AP) — Negotiators for locked out players and Major League Baseball held bargaining sessions ahead of Commissioner Rob Manfred’s Tuesday deadline for a deal that would preserve a 162-game season.

Union chief negotiator Bruce Meyer and general counsel Ian Penny headed a bargaining team that left MLB’s office shortly after 11 a.m. and headed back to the players’ association, about three blocks away. Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem, Executive Vice President Morgan Sword and Senior Vice President Pat Houlihan later attended a meeting at the players’ association office that lasted 20 minutes.

On the 97th day of baseball’s second-longest work stoppage, the sides met in person for the third straight day.

MLB has told the union that Tuesday is the last possible day to reach an agreement that would allow a 162-game schedule, along with full salary and service time, a deadline first reported by The Athletic.

The luxury tax, the amount of the new bonus pool for pre-arbitration-eligible players and minimum salaries are among the major issues.

MLB offered Monday to lift the threshold for this year from its previous proposal of $220 million to $228 million, with certain tradeoffs, a person familiar with the negotiations said, confirming a move first reported by The Athletic. The union began the week at $238 million.

The union entered Monday asking for an $80 million bonus pool for this year and MLB was at $30 million. MLB offered a $700,000 minimum salary and the union asked for $725,000.

There were greater differences in the final four seasons of the proposed five-year deal.