NEW YORK, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Baseball's collective bargaining talks resumed Friday amid optimism on both sides that a settlement "is going to get done" and a strike averted.
Don Fehr, executive director of the players union, meanwhile scheduled a conference call of the union's negotiating committee Friday, which could determine whether the executive board will set a strike date sometime from Aug. 16 to Sept. 16.
The executive board meeting would be held sometime next week, said Todd Zeile, the Colorado Rockies player representative.
Fehr will complete his tour of baseball's 30 clubs in Boston next week. He was decidedly upbeat in his addresses this week with the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs, said players who attended the meetings.
"I still believe (a settlement) is going to get done," said Joe Girardi, the Cubs player rep.
"They've made some progress on revenue sharing. They're exploring some new ideas to try to make it more productive. They came up with some concepts that both sides were happy with and now it's just fine tuning those concepts and those numbers."
"I would say the mood was upbeat and overall positive," said Texas pitcher Todd Van Poppel after Wednesday's meeting in Arlington, Texas. "We did not set a strike date or even really talk about that. We're not at that point because we are still going over issues and concerns."
Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's vice president of labor relations and human resources, has also been decidedly encouraged in conference calls with reporters.
"I'm still optimistic that a deal is going to get done at the table," he said.
During the past week, there have been extensive discussions on how to determine the mechanism of sharing money with baseball's lower-revenue teams and a reiteration of both sides' positions on such issues as contraction and a minimum payroll for each club.
There has been movement on resolving minimum salary and a $500 million benefit package put on the table by the players on Monday, lawyers from both sides said.
"The sides aren't as defiant about certain issues that most people don't even know go into a basic agreement," Zeile said. "So as a result, things are talked about and analyzed. It's crunch time before those (major) issues are typically moved on."
"I walked out of our meeting with a positive attitude," said Yankees reliever Steve Karsay after Fehr met with the team at its hotel in Texas on Wednesday. "The bottom line is we don't want to strike. We want a fair deal for both sides and we want the deal to get done. We need to figure out what's best for everybody."