MLB: Tony Clark should remain at the helm of the Major League Baseball Players Association

LOS ANGELES — Tony Clark seems likely to stay on as head of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

« There’s a lot of work to do and I’m more than determined to keep doing it, » Clark told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday.

Now 50, Clark took over as union leader at the end of 2013, following the death of Michael Weiner. Clark led the union through labor negotiations in 2016 and through agreement in March, which followed a 99-day lockout. The new agreement will expire in December 2026.

Bruce Meyer led the day-to-day negotiations during the final talks. Last week, he was promoted to Deputy Executive Director of the Senior Director of Collective Bargaining and Legal.

Major union decisions are made by a 38-man executive committee, which includes an eight-man executive sub-committee. Seven of the eight members of the sub-executive committee pocketed US$12 million or more in 2021 and the other got their hands on $3.5 million.

While the sub-executive committee voted unanimously against approving the five-year contract, the player reps on each team voted in favor 26 to 4. So there was a ratification under a overall ballot of 26-12.

Clark said the voices of the union’s lower-paid members are being heard.

« Veteran players were the ones who talked the most about improving the system for young players, » Clark said. They recognize the changes that were happening in the sport, because they are in the locker room with the young players and they want to let them know that they were supporting them when it came time to negotiate. »

The agreement included an annual bonus pool of $50 million for players who were not yet eligible for arbitration.

Clark mentioned that the players were pushing for « recognition that younger players provide more value and need to take advantage of that value more. »

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