Delay to season looms with little progress in labor talks


If it wasn't clear already, spring training isn't going to start on time next week as scheduled.

And following Saturday's labor meeting between MLB and the players union, an on-time start to the regular season appears to be in serious doubt too.

MLB and union met in New York on Saturday as the league made its latest economic proposal, which "underwhelmed" the union, according to The Athletic's Evan Drellich. 

RELATED: Manfred: 'Disastrous' if lockout bleeds into season

Multiple reports characterized the meeting — the fifth of the league-implemented lockout — as making little progress in labor negotiations.

According to reports, MLB made a 130-page proposal that includes slight increases to the luxury tax threshold from previous negotiations, as well as two proposals to increase the minimum player salary.

MLB also modified its proposal regarding teams surrendering draft picks for exceeding each of the three luxury tax tiers. Teams would still lose a second- and first-round pick for exceeding the second and third tier, respectively, but no longer would surrender a third-round pick for exceeding the first tier.

The league also increased its proposal regarding a pre-arbitration bonus pool for productive young players from $10 million to $15 million — still miles apart from the union's last proposal of $100 million.

There's also still a wide gap between the league and union's luxury tax and minimum salary proposals. The union has proposed a $245 million luxury tax threshold and a $775,000 minimum salary.

MORE: MLB lockout: The big issue? It’s the luxury tax, stupid

Spring training has long been expected to be delayed, and now that's all but official with camps scheduled to start opening on Tuesday.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday the league estimated at least four weeks would be needed for camps whenever an agreement is reached. He also said he anticipated less than a week between an agreement and camps opening.

That puts the final days of February as a de facto deadline for an agreement in order for Opening Day to start on March 31 as scheduled.

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