The reaction among Major League Baseball players to the league's first bargaining proposal since the labour stoppage began was "not positive," according to Jeff Passan of ESPN, potentially imperilling the start time of spring training in February.
The meeting ended a 42-day break in negotiations, dating back to Dec. 1, when a brief session was held and broke off hours before the collective bargaining agreement expired. After it did, management started a lockout. It is the sport's first work stoppage since 1995.
Some of MLB's proposals included amendments to service time and and playoff structure, Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith has learned.
Under the owners' service-time manipulation idea, if a highly-ranked prospect (defined as someone within the top 150 on prospect lists) plays a full year and finishes top five for a major award like MVP, Cy Young or Rookie of The Year, his team would get a bonus draft pick.
The playoff structure change would see 14 teams included in the post-season, underscoring the owners' desire for an expanded playoffs and making it arguably one of players' biggest bargaining chips.
Neither side expected a deal to be struck on Thursday, Passan said, and the question now becomes how soon the Major League Baseball Players Association fields its counterproposal.
Spring training is scheduled to start Feb. 16 in Florida and Arizona, and Opening Day is set for March 31.
Players have previously asked for liberalized eligibility for free agency and salary arbitration, a raise in the luxury tax threshold from $210 million to $245 million, changes to spark increased competition among clubs and measures to address what the union claims is service time manipulation.
Management has offered to increase the tax threshold to $214 million, to extend the designated hitter to the National League and the elimination of compensation for free agents for the first time.
Both sides would increase the minimum salary, players from $570,500 to $775,000 this season and management to a series of tiers: $600,000 for players with less than a year of big league service, $650,000 for at least one but less than two and $700,000 for at least two.
Negotiators also have discussed an NBA-style draft lottery, but management would limit it to the top three teams and the union would expand it to the top eight. Players would reward small-market teams with additional draft picks for success, such as making the playoffs or finishing with a winning record.
--with files from the Associated Press