New York Daily News | Deesha Thosar: Rob Manfred is expected to address the media at the quarterly owners’ meetings in Orlando, Florida, later today to announce that the start of spring training will be delayed. Although this move has been expected for quite some time, the formal announcement will be the first significant domino to fall in the leadup to a postponed Opening Day.
At this point in time, there has been absolutely no update since the league requested federal assistance to end the labor dispute last week. After refusing to make an offer to the union for more than 40 days after implementing the lockout, the league has continued to sit on its hands, refusing to even meet with the MLBPA, let alone make a counteroffer. Just like in 2020, MLB is not negotiating in good faith with the players, and is instead, to quote Thosar, “gaslighting fans, dragging the players down, crying wolf on loss of revenue despite lucrative TV deals and expanded playoffs.”
NJ.com | Randy Miller: While the league’s owners have been meeting in Orlando, Florida, the Player’s Association held a pair of meetings of their own, one in Florida and one in Arizona. Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, a member of the MLBPA executive subcommittee, attended the Arizona meeting, and tweeted after the fact that it was “exciting” to see so many players in attendance. Unlike the owners, the players’ union has been very open about what they want out of the negotiations — namely, fair compensation for younger players, efforts to curb tanking as a viable strategy, and alterations to the Competitive Balance Tax so that it does not act like a de facto salary cap.
New York Post | Joel Sherman: Rob Manfred takes the podium today, he has a rare opportunity. Operating primarily through written statements, the league’s commissioner has largely been an extension of the owners throughout the entire process. When he gets in front of the mic, however, he will have a chance to speak directly to the fans and, more importantly, to the players. Freed from the shackles of serving the owners for a few minutes, Manfred can actually do his job as a shepherd of the game and extend an olive branch to the MLBPA by setting forward an actual plan to meet them halfway on at least something. While a few words would not, obviously, make any headway in the negotiations, they could nonetheless provide a foothold from which ownership can actually, you know, join the negotiations they are theoretically a part of.
Sherman argues that the issue he should pick is service time manipulation, in large part because its elimination would benefit not only the players, but the league’s new gambling partners as well; after all, service time manipulation entails deliberately not fielding the best possible team, which is a very slippery slope when it comes to gambling.
Sports Illustrated | Will Laws: The hot stove may be frozen, but that doesn’t mean we can’t light a fire to keep warm by throwing out some trade proposals. In this, Will suggests that the Yankees go all in on Matt Olson and Chris Bassitt, flipping Oswald Peraza, Luis Gil, and Everson Pereira to the Athletics. This deal would give the Yankees the lefty bat with a strong glove at first base and the top-of-the-rotation starter they need, while Oakland would receive the salary relief they covet and a couple of nice prospects to help the rebuild get underway.
In a bit of somber news, we here at Pinstripe Alley would like to express our condolences to the Giambi family, as Jeremy Giambi passed away yesterday at the age of 47. Although Jeremy never donned the pinstripes like his brother, he put together a solid career as a member of the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, and Boston Red Sox. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this difficult time.