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MLB's snail-paced lockout talks to resume with union offer

Locked out baseball players plan to make a counteroffer to management on Monday, 11 days after clubs gave the union a proposal when the snail-paced negotiations resumed following a 42-day break.

The players’ association asked Major League Baseball on Thursday to schedule the negotiating session.

There is dwindling time to reach an agreement in time for spring training to start as scheduled on Feb. 16.

The scheduled March 31 opening day is increasingly threatened, given the need for players to report, go through COVID-19 protocols and have at least three weeks of workouts that include a minimal number of exhibition games.

Players don’t receive paychecks until the regular season, and owners get only a small percentage of their revenue during the offseason. Those factors create negotiations that are a game of chicken until mid- to late February, when significant economic losses become more imminent.

When owners made their new proposal on Jan. 13, players reacted coolly and said they would contact MLB when they were ready to respond.

Baseball's ninth work stoppage, its first since 1995, started Dec. 2 following the expiration of a five-year labor contract that left players unhappy.

The sides differ on luxury tax thresholds and rates, arbitration eligibility, revenue-sharing level, postseason size, amateur draft changes and other ways to address the union’s allegation of improper service time manipulation by clubs.

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