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Friday Bird Droppings: Negotiations have continued, but with little progress

MLB made a formal proposal to the players’ union yesterday, but reportedly it didn’t do much to move the needle toward a new CBA.

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MLB: ALDS-Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

At long last, there are signs of life in the negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA toward a new collective bargaining agreement. But from early reports, the latest talks aren’t nearly enough to bridge the gap between the two sides.

Yesterday, after weeks without formal discussions between owners and players, the league presented a proposal on core economic issues such as arbitration eligibility and service-time manipulation. The Athletic’s Evan Drellich and ESPN’s Jeff Passan, among others, broke down the basics of what MLB’s offer entailed, including:

  • expanding the playoff field to 14 teams;
  • instituting a universal DH;
  • eliminating arbitration for Super Two players and instead using a formula to determine their salaries;
  • implementing a draft lottery for the top three picks, in which a team would be ineligible to be part of the lottery for three consecutive seasons;
  • rewarding an extra draft pick to teams who put a Top 100 prospect on their Opening Day roster if the player wins a major award within three years.

The MLBPA was nonplussed by the league’s offer, according to Drellich and Passan, with the latter writing that the proposals “did little to encourage players and heightened the likelihood of spring training being postponed.” Players also reportedly were displeased that MLB’s offer didn’t suggest any changes to crucial economic issues such as free agency, league minimum salaries, or the competitive balance tax.

The union is expected to “hold internal discussions on how to respond” to MLB’s offer, writes Drellich, but no follow-up talks have been scheduled as yet. It’s good news that the sides are back at the bargaining table, at least, but there’s a lot of ground still to cover. The clock is ticking if an agreement is to be reached before the scheduled start of spring training next month.


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Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Two former Orioles were born on this day: 1984-85 infielder Wayne Gross (70) and 1990 lefty/frontiersman Danny Boone (68).

On this day in 1963, the Orioles and White Sox pulled off a mega-trade involving two future Hall of Famers, with knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm going to Chicago for shortstop Luis Aparicio. The O’s also threw former Rookie of the Year Ron Hansen and two others into the deal. All four players the Orioles traded went on to have solid White Sox careers — especially Wilhelm, whose career lasted for another decade even though he was 39 at the time of the trade — but the Birds got what they needed in Aparicio, who teamed with fellow Gold Glover Brooks Robinson on the left side of the Baltimore infield and was a key part of the 1966 World Series champs.

And on this day in 1993, the O’s acquired another Hall of Famer, Harold Baines, from the Athletics for two minor leaguers. The Maryland native posted a .301/.379/.502 batting line with 107 homers and 378 RBIs in three stints with the Orioles.