New York (AFP) – Major League Baseball players stood united during negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. Instead, there were splits when it came time to vote on the deal.
The eight-member subcommittee that appears to be more involved in the nearly year-long talks voted 8-0 on Thursday against approving the five-year deal. Representatives of the players, the umbrella group overseeing the negotiations, voted 26-4 in favor instead.
This agreement remained ratified by a majority of 26-4, pending ratification.
“You can call it a split. I call it dialogue and healthy conversation,” Guild Leader Tony Clark said on Friday. “From our point of view, the process worked. Every group, every team, every player had a chance to get their team involved and voice their own vote within the framework of the other 25 or 39 members of their club, I would say.
Major League Baseball Deputy Commissioner Dan Halim signed a 182-page Memorandum of Understanding with Clark Thursday, which included 26 preliminary agreements requiring revisions to the base agreement and Major League rules.
Training camps open for a season that will start a week late on April 7, but they will maintain their full schedule of 162 games per team.
The players on the Executive Committee are mostly high-paid veterans: Mets pitcher Max Scherzer ($43.3 million this season); Gerrit Cole and Zach Britton, pitchers for the Yankees (with salaries 36 and 14 million); Marcus Simin, player from Texas ($25 million); Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor, Shortstop for Mets (32 million); Houston hunter Jason Castro ($3.5 million) and free agent Andrew Miller ($12 million last year).
The game’s most influential agent, Scott Borras, is represented by Britton, Cole, Paxton, Scherzer and Handsome.
Of the 1,670 players who appeared in the Major League roster this year, 1,145 earned less than $1 million, 771 of them for less than half a million and 241 for less than $100,000.
The votes of these lower-paid players are reflected in the vote of the 38-member group.
“The subcommittee members who participated from start to finish, who pushed for the gains we all wanted, voted within this democratic system,” Clark said.
The committee differs demographically from the larger group of players. Seven of the eight members were born in the United States. The exception is Lindor.
There is no other Latin America. Nor Asians.
“Outside the subcommittee and outside the players’ representatives, there are discussions with players who have concerns that directly affect them. Those conversations have taken place, players’ representatives and subcommittee members have heard, as part of those conversations,” Clark said.
“Suffice to say we had more meetings than was reported. There was a lot of engagement and a lot of discussion. Every player’s concerns have been heard and will continue to be heard, no matter where they come from.”
The agreement raised the so-called luxury tax ceiling from 210 million to 230 this year, and to 244 in 2026. It raised the minimum wage this year from 570,500 to 700,000 dollars, an annual increase of 20 thousand dollars.
In addition, a bonus fund of $50 million has been created for players who are not yet in a position to arbitrate salary.
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