Deputy commissioner Dan Halem and MLBPA lead negotiator Bruce Meyer are expected to meet today at an “informal” one-on-one sitdown in New York, tweets Evan Drellich of The Athletic. It’ll be the first time since Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the cancellation of Opening Day earlier this week that representatives from the two parties have met in person.
What’s on the agenda isn’t clear, though it’s at least mildly encouraging to see two key representatives meet just days after the “deadline” set by MLB passed. After the last deadline (the expiration of the prior collective bargaining agreement), six weeks transpired before the league put forth a counterproposal to the union. At present, it’s the league that made its most recent offer, which the union unanimously agreed to reject.
Of note, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post tweets that, moving forward, the two parties hope to reduce some of the very public back-and-forth nature of prior talks and keep negotiations closer to the vest. Both the recent week-plus of negotiations in Jupiter, Fla. and the 2020 return-to-play negotiations were public spectacles, to varying extents.
As things stand, the league has only canceled a week’s worth of games, though it seems quite possible (if not likely) that additional cancellations will follow. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes recently ran down where both parties sit on the issues at hand, for those looking for a quick reference point on the gaps that remain in need of bridging. Now, on top of those issues, the league and union will have to also discuss scheduling matters — the union has reportedly expressed a desire to reschedule canceled games; Manfred indicated Tuesday that would not happen — and the possibility of prorating pay and/or service time based on games missed.