By Sam Bush

The Phils pitchers and catchers are due in Clearwater for spring training on Feb. 15 — that’s just 17 days away.

And MLB and the MLB players’ association are making progress toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

The two sides met on Monday and Tuesday, with the players making an offer and rejecting most or all of the owners’ previous proposal.

The players proposed raising the minimum MLB salary to $775,000 from $570,500. MLB has reportedly countered at $615,000 for first-year players.

Both sides have proposed a bonus pool for players under minimum salaries based on the Wins Above Replacement statistic. MLB suggested a $10 million fund, while the players want it to be $105 million.

Forty-six percent of players made under $500,000 in 2021.

The MLBPA also reduced its requested increase in revenue sharing funds from large market to small market teams to $30 million from $100 million.

The two sides are still at a standoff on several issues, and MLB executive Dan Halem said that the league is willing to lose 2022 regular-season games to hold their ground.

On Monday, the MLBPA dropped its request that players be able to reach free agency earlier than after six years of service time (a system teams regularly manipulate to gain most of a seventh year).

MLB shed its proposal to restructure the arbitration system, which guides most player salaries for their fourth-through-sixth years of team control. The players have asked for a fourth year to be put under the arbitration system instead of a minimum salary.

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