The Yankee Analysts has a post up that clearly and simply sets forth the major issues of contention for the upcoming labor negotiations between the players and the owners.
I like this version because it separates the demands of the players and the demands of the owners rather than simply setting forth “issues” in a general sense. To truly understand the dynamics of the negotiations you need to know what each side wants, and this article does a great job of it.
It also helps you realize why no one is really freaking out about the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Because for the most part, the players and owners want things that aren’t diametrically opposed to what the other wants. There will be some contention here, of course, but this negotiation is going to be more about horse trading than it is about fighting.
The only one that I still think may be stickier than some realize is the stuff about hard slotting for draft pick bonuses. I’ve touched on this before, but I still find it significant that Michael Weiner referred to the idea of hard slotting as “a salary cap” in his introductory press conference in December 2009. The term “salary cap” is a rallying cry for the union. It always has been. The owners know this, and they have publicly abandoned any effort to impose one because they know the union will gladly strike over it and will likely win.
Maybe it’s different for the draft — players have often thrown draftees and minor leaguers under the bus when it comes to work rules — but I don’t think enough people have taken notice of Weiner’s use of that term. For that reason, I think they people are underselling just how hard the union might fight the imposition of hard slotting for the draft. It may happen, but it will come at a higher price than the owners suspect, I think.
All of that said, compared to what’s going on in the other sports these days, I think baseball’s negotiations are going to go pretty smoothly.