10:28 AM: The prospects of owners and players being close to an agreement has been characterized as “beyond absurd” by someone close to the players, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca (via Twitter). Nicholson-Smith adds that the players will need to see more than just the incremental changes to the Collective Bargaining Tax that owners were offering yesterday.
9:34 AM: Amid all the doom-and-gloom surrounding the CBA negotiation, there is at least one voice suggesting a deal could be in the offing. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports this morning that the two sides are “within striking distance” of a deal, and the two sides could reach a suitable compromise by tomorrow night. MLBTR’s sources disagree vehemently with Heyman’s report, however, and continue to say that a deal is not close.
Most of the other scuttlebutt, including from Heyman, suggests that the players left yesterday’s session upset and unconvinced of the owners willingness to negotiate in earnest. At the same time, despite the hostility, players have not walked away yet, with another meeting scheduled between the two sides for today at noon.
Heyman suggests the difference could be a settling of the luxury tax threshold around the $230MM mark. That would more-or-less evenly split the divide between the two sides, but that’s not the way negotiations have leaned thus far. That’s to say nothing of the many other issues on which the two sides are at odds. At last reporting, the gap between the two was still at $31MM for 2022, with the players offering a $245MM luxury tax line, and the owners countering at $214MM.