September 17, 2021

Proposal for free-agent signing deadline in Major League Baseball dies quickly (The Athletic)

Major League Baseball this month proposed a deadline in free agency for any player signing a multi-year deal. The deal was a non-starter for the Major League Baseball Players Association, citing an impact on leverage and ultimately, salaries.

No deadline exists presently, contributing to an environment where negotiations between teams and high-profile players have dragged into spring training and the regular season.

The league said in a statement that it “made a proposal earlier this month intended to accelerate the pace of signings in the offseason and increase activity during the Winter Meetings.”

“After due consideration, we rejected their proposal as not being in the best interests of players,” said Bruce Meyer, the MLBPA senior director of collective bargaining and legal. “We asked if MLB was interested in discussing other, more direct and tangible ways of incentivizing early signings and they weren’t at this time.”

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