MLB owners commenced a lockout of the players following the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement on Dec. 1. Here is the latest on where things stand with the work stoppage…
Jan. 3, 10:19 a.m.
In a wide-ranging interview with Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, Mets RHP Max Scherzer discussed the potential timing of a deal, the need to pay younger players more, the luxury tax, the “integrity” of the game, and more.
On the possibility that the season could be disrupted, Scherzer said it’s “hard to speculate” right now.
“You’re just in limbo right now,” Scherzer said. “You’re training ready to be good to go for when spring training starts. If that doesn’t happen, then you make different decisions based on that. But until that happens, you have to have the mentality that we’re going to be playing on time. Any other kind of speculation is just hearsay.”
As far as the integrity of the game, Scherzer explained that one thing the players want addressed is the number of teams that go into seasons with no “intent” of winning.
“Even though that can be a strategy to win in future years, we’ve seen both small-market and large-market clubs embrace tanking, and that cannot be the optimal strategy for the owners,” Scherzer said.
With spring training set to start in roughly six weeks and games scheduled to begin in late-February, negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA on the new CBA are expected to resume this month.
Dec. 15, 7:17 p.m.
The MLB and the Players’ Association are unlikely to discuss core economics of the new CBA until January, according to The Athletic.
Evan Drellich notes that both sides are not “as contentious” on matters like the luxury tax and years of arbitration, but “communication on the big-dollar issues remains on hold.”
The MLBPA made a proposal earlier this week, but to no avail or counter. The two sides will meet in Dallas on Dec. 16.
Dec. 2, 10:19 a.m.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday morning during a news conference that he remains optimistic a deal will be reached to end the lockout before regular season games are threatened.
Manfred also downplayed the perceived bad blood between MLB and the MLBPA — something that reared its head in the negotiations before the 2020 season during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in an even more delayed start and a 60-game season.
“I think people put way too much emphasis on that issue,” Manfred said. “At the end of the day, it’s about substance. We’re here. They’re there. We need to bridge that gap.”
Said Manfred about why the lockout happened:
“People need pressure sometimes to get to an agreement, but candidly we didn’t feel that sense of pressure on the other side during the course of this week,” Manfred explained. “The only tool available to you under the act is to apply economic leverage.”
Dec. 2, 12:45 a.m.
Rob Manfred made things official just after midnight, announcing that the MLB owners “have been forced to commence a lockout of Major League Players.”
Manfred penned a letter to the fans, explaining his disappointment with the situation the game finds itself in.
“Simply put, we believe that an offseason lockout is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season. We hope that the lockout will jumpstart the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time,” Manfred wrote. “This defensive lockout was necessary because the Players Association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive. It’s simply not a viable option. From the beginning, the MLBPA has been unwilling to move from their starting position, compromise, or collaborate on solutions.”
The MLBPA also released a statement of their own, calling the shutdown a “drastic measure, regardless of the timing.”
MLBPA director Tony Clark released his own statement, saying that this “drastic and unnecessary measure will not affect the Players’ resolve to reach a fair contract.”
With the players locked out, no player transactions can occur. The major league portion of the Winter Meetings has also been canceled.