Bruce Meyer promoted to assistant general manager of Major League Baseball Players Association
NEW YORK — It looks like Bruce Meyer will stick around to lead baseball players through the next round of labor negotiations in 2026.
Meyer was promoted to deputy executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association on Wednesday after leading the union’s negotiations during a 99-day lockout that ended in March.
Meyer’s title is unusual for the union. Since Marvin Miller was hired as executive director in 1966, the only previous person to hold the assistant title was Tony Clark. He was promoted to director of player services in July 2013 after union chief Michael Weiner was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Clark took over after Weiner’s death in November.
“Under Tony Clark’s leadership, the MLBPA has made great strides, including on the business and collective bargaining fronts,” Meyer said. “Our union is stronger than it has ever been.”
Meyer, 61, is a longtime sports law attorney and litigator. He spent 30 years at Weil, Gotshal & Manges before joining the NHL Players Association in 2016 as Senior Director of Collective Bargaining, Policy and Legal Affairs.
The baseball union hired him in August 2018 as senior director of collective bargaining and legal. Clark and Rick Shapiro were the top negotiators in 2016, and Shapiro left the union in July 2019.
Meyer led the union through contentious and often acrimonious negotiations to start the 2020 season after the pandemic, then led tense talks in baseball’s ninth work stoppage, the first since the 1994-95 strike.
This year’s lockout ended with an increase in luxury tax thresholds (accompanied by a new top tier of penalties), an increase in the minimum wage from $570,500 to $700,000, a new $50 million bonus pool for young players, designated hitter extension to the National League, 12 postseason teams instead of 10, uniform ads starting next year, a balanced schedule that reduces intra-division play from 2023 and measures to encourage competition and reduce reconstruction, such as an amateur lottery.
The five-year deal expires in December 2026, making it likely negotiations will begin this spring.
In other moves on Wednesday, Ian Penny was moved to Clark’s senior counsel position in what the union announced was a promotion, and Matt Nussbaum replaced Penny as general counsel.
Nussbaum becomes only the sixth general counsel in union history after Dick Moss (1966-77), Donald Fehr (1977-2004), Weiner (2004-13), David Prouty (2013-17) and Penny. Nussbaum was among those likely to be considered for an NHL players’ association search to succeed Fehr as executive director, two people familiar with the baseball union said, speaking on condition of anonymity. because no statement was allowed.l.
Penny, 58, joined the baseball union staff as senior labor counsel in 2010 after working at the National Labor Relations Board from 1988 to 2000 and the NHL union for a decade.
Nussbaum, 44, was hired by the baseball union as assistant general counsel in 2011 after three years with the NHL union and was promoted to assistant general counsel in 2017.
Perconte, 44, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, was hired by the union in 2017 as assistant general counsel.
Additionally, former pitcher Kevin Slowey was promoted to senior director of player services from director of player services, a position he had held since 2015. And former pitcher Chris Capuano was promoted to senior director of operations, business and strategy, rising from the operational role director he had held since 2019.