Ongoing collective bargaining talks between Major League Baseball and the player’s union have been civil and remain promising, but Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes that there are still issues to iron out. International amateur intake, the qualifying offer system, and PEDs all pose thorny questions. And matters such as expansion of rosters, if not also teams, and a reduction of the regular-season schedule could also need sorting. The smart money remains on a peaceful process, it seems, as most areas of potential conflict are of fairly limited scope and the parties have worked together on several complicated matters of late.
- An issue that has increasingly drawn attention is the wages owed to minor league ballplayers. Nathaniel Grow of Fangraphs takes a close look at the matter, including what to glean from recent comments from commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA chief Tony Clark.
- The TV rights fees dispute between the Nationals and Orioles, which is centered around the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, is still bound up in court, as Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun reports. The judge in the case has rejected the Nats’ request that another MLB arbitration proceeding be commenced, leaving more to battle over even before a new hearing is had on the underlying merits. Manfred still says that he believes a league-run panel will decide the matter, as Ronald Blum of the Associated Press reports (via the Washington Times).
- We don’t often hear of top draft picks coming from the service academies, though Air Force righty Griffin Jax recently signed with the Twins after being taken in the third round. As Brent Briggeman of the Colorado Springs Gazette reports, rule changes could make players such as Jax more common. The two-year active-duty service requirement that applies to the academies can now be waived upon application, if an athlete has signed a professional sports contract.