NEW YORK, OCT. 31 -- Baseball's annual joint winter meetings a month away were called off today while negotiators for the major leagues and minor leagues again met in an attempt to reach a new Player Development Contract.
Major league owners want to lower their subsidy to the minors; minor league owners, represented by the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, want the amount to stay the same.
"We have made progress. We have narrowed our differences in a number of areas," said Bill Murray, the head negotiator for the majors.
Murray said the two sides still hoped to reach agreement by Nov. 15. But the sides had previously agreed that if there was no settlement by Nov. 1, the joint winter meetings would be canceled because of hotel space and other logistics.
The winter meetings were scheduled for the first week of December in Los Angeles. In the past, those meetings often have been the scene of major deals, free agent signings and trade rumors.
Murray said the major leagues and minor leagues would likely hold separate meetings at a location and time to be announced later. It is uncertain whether the major league portion would be mainly an owners' meeting, or whether there would be the usual gathering of general managers, managers and scouts.
Minor league owners claim that although franchise values have risen, operating profits have not.