Representatives of the players relations committee of the Major League Players Association met with the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board here yesterday.
Last week, the players filed a charge with the NLRB, requesting that the owners be forced to turn over financial information that the players believe could be useful in resolving the free-agent compensation issue. If that issue cannot be resolved, the players have said they will strike May 29.
"I've heard the baseball owners and I have the matter under advisement," said William Lubbers, general counsel for the NLRB. "Time is very short. The decision will be made in time to do whatever needs to be done, either way."
He said it could come as early as Friday.
Negotiations between the owners and the players will be resumed today in New York. Ray Grebey, the chief negotiator for the owners, said he expected there to be extensive discussion of the modifications the owners proposed Tuesday.
The owners' modifications broadened the performance criteria by which free agents are ranked beyond their number of plate appearances or pitching starts, to include several factors such as batting average and ERA.
But Don Fehr, the general counsel of the players association, said, "It might have represented a step forward if it had been done a long time ago and without a take-it-or-leave it attitude. . . The essential provisions are identical to before. They still want to include 50 percent of the players in the compensation category. They are merely rearranging the ranking order. There are some merits over the previous proposal but to suggest that it is the basis for an agreement is not realistic."
Kenneth F. Moffett, the federal mediator, said, "I would hope we would have a free exchange of proposals and a resolution of the problem. But unfortunately, we haven't had that. There's been so little back and forth. We're running out of time. I'm pessimistic."