MLB players, owners close in on deal

BY Ken Rosenthal • November 13, 2011

The most significant hurdle to a new labor deal in baseball is gone — or close to it.

Players and owners are in near-agreement on draft-related issues, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations.

A deal is possible Sunday or Monday, the source said, but other significant issues remain, making it possible that the negotiations will stretch into the latter part of the week.

The two sides are motivated to reach an agreement before then, however. The general managers’ meetings start Tuesday in Milwaukee, and the owners meet Thursday. The union, meanwhile, is holding meetings for player agents Monday through Wednesday.

The new deal is expected to include significant restraints on the amount of money teams spend on draft picks and significant changes in draft-pick compensation for free agents.

The current agreement expires Dec. 11. But at this point, it would be a shock if a new five-year deal was not in place well before that date, ensuring more than two decades of continuous labor peace.

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