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Wednesday Bird Droppings: MLB owners finally get serious about CBA offers

Representatives from the owners and the Players Association met late into the night on Tuesday, possibly paving the way for a deal.

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Tony Clark, executive director of the MLB Players Association Photo by Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday RM via Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

The lockout is not over yet, but it does feel like it’s getting close. The Players Association and the team owners met for most of the day on Tuesday, only concluding talks at 2:30 a.m. when the PA requested to speak to its board prior to coming back with an answer on the latest proposal.

This proposal has finally reached the realm of reasonable from the players perspective. The Athletic’s Evan Drellich outlined most of the details in a tweet thread last night. The basics are that the owners are proposing a CBT threshold of $230 million in 2022 with it increasing each year up to $242 million in 2026, a pre-arbitration pool of $40 million, and minimum salary of $700,000 this season up to $770,000 at the expiration of the CBA.

These numbers are not exactly what the players had asked for a week ago in Florida, but they are closer, and it would at least set the groundwork for them to get even more in the next round of negotiations, which is the point here.

Other important issues in the offer include addressing team tanking. This would be done via the draft and compensating teams that play young players.

A draft lottery of six teams would be introduced. Depending on team market size, a club can be in the lottery up to twice in a row, after that they would slip to the 10th pick in the draft. It’s unclear to me, but it would seem this would not take into consideration seasons prior to 2022, so the Orioles would still be in the lottery this year and possibly 2023, but then could pick no higher than 10th in 2024.

Teams can gain up to three draft picks if they bring a talented young player up on Opening Day and that player then performs well in Rookie of the Year voting. The specific details there on where in the draft those picks would come are not apparent, but it sure does seem tantalizing enough for the Orioles to promote someone lke Adley Rutschman right away rather than waiting much longer.

All of this positivity should be taken with a grain of salt. There were what turned out to be bogus reports of a deal being close a week ago as well, and we now know that was never the case. The fact that the players did not reject this deal immediately seems encouraging but who knows.

It remains so frustrating that it has taken this long for the owners to get serious about negotiations. They continued to cry poor while a deal with Apple about broadcasting Friday Night games floated to the surface with possibly more to come.

Why did the owners finally enter the arena? Apparently they didn’t like everyone online being mad at them. Seriously. It’s been impressive how universal the condemnation of team owners has been. The players have dragged them time and time again, fans are overwhelmingly against them, and many reporters have been quite clear in explaining that this whole thing is the fault of the league and team owners.

Shame still works, at least to a certain point.


5 takeaways from Baseball America’s top 30 Orioles prospects list | The Baltimore Sun
The Mike Elias impact is on full display in the Orioles top prospect lists at this point. However, it remains interesting how little draft capital the boss has invested in pitching since taking over several years ago. The top two arms in the system, Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall, are Dan Duquette era picks.

Baumler and Ortiz healthy and full-go in spring training | School of Roch
This is great news. Carter Baumler could see his stock skyrocket this year if he is fully healthy, and Joey Ortiz has a shot at a big league debut as one of the best fielding shortstops in the minors.

Checking in on minor league storylines for 2022 | Steve Melewski
For me, I am fully focused on Colton Cowser and Heston Kjerstad. It’s not unreasonable to think the two of them could move quickly through the minor leagues and potentially join Cedric Mullins in the Orioles outfield within the next two seasons. If that were to happen you would have to think the club is in a pretty good spot.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Zack Burdi is 27 today. The righty pitched in one game for the Orioles in 2021. He is currently on the Arizona Diamondbacks 40-man roster.
  • Clay Rapada turns 41. In 2011, the southpaw pitched in 32 games and allowed 11 runs over 16.1 total innings with the O’s.

This weekend in O’s history

2012 - Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold is hit in the head by an Alex Cobb pitch in the first inning of a Grapefruit League game. Reimold was taken to the hospital for tests, which revealed no significant injury.