On December 2nd, 2021 the latest lockout in Major League Baseball began with the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement from 2016. Very little movement has happened amidst the rise of threats of canceled games and a shortened regular season. Despite all of the problems of the MLBPA and ownership, MLB has never lost a regular-season game to a lockout.
Spring training should have already gotten started, but as March approaches, a deal is not imminent. The two sides have started more extensive negotiations, but it is hard to see the season starting on time. We’ll continue updating this article with reports as the two sides continue their negotiations.
5:10 p.m. ET — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced that Opening Day has been postponed from the March 31 set date.
4:30 p.m. ET — The two sides were unable to reach a unanimous decision on a new deal before the 5 p.m. ET deadline on Tuesday, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. It appears unlikely the season will begin on time and the MLB is threatening to cancel March 31 Opening Day.
BREAKING: MLBPA player leaders agreed unanimously not to accept MLB's final proposal, and there will be no deal on a new collective-bargaining agreement before MLB's 5 p.m. ET deadline, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 1, 2022
MLB has threatened to cancel its March 31 Opening Day without a new deal.
To make matters worse, it appears the representatives from the players’ association are leaving Florida entirely.
BREAKING: MLB players reject best, final offer from owners. If owners and commissioner Rob Manfred now follow through on their stated threat, Opening Day 2022 will be delayed, and some number of games in the regular season canceled. Players contingent is leaving Florida.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 1, 2022
8:00 a.m. ET — The two sides negotiated into the night, wrapping up near 2:30 a.m. They have not come to an agreement but are reportedly making progress and have decided to move the Feb 28 deadline to start canceling games to 5 p.m. ET on March 1. As noted by Battery Power, progress was made on expanded playoffs, the minimum salary, the arbitration pool and luxury tax penalties. There is still ground to be made up in the CBT, pre-arbitration bonus pool, and minimum salary.
MLBPA doesn’t feel any major area done. MLB’s CBT starts at $220m, prearb bonus pool at $20 m, and minimum salary at $675k. Players want higher numbers.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 1, 2022
MLB’s CBT proposal:
New: MLB is OK not increasing CBT tax rates
We’ve reached deadline day for the MLB and players to strike a deal that would allow for no missed games. That doesn’t appear likely to happen. Multiple reports are indicating that the MLB is willing to miss one month of games:
MLB today indicated a willingness to miss a month of games and took a more threatening tone than yesterday, sources briefed on the day’s first meeting between MLB and the Players Association tell me, @Ken_Rosenthal and @FabianArdaya. Full context of conversation not yet known.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 28, 2022
The MLB and PA needed to work out a deal by Monday, Feb. 28 so the season can start on time. It’s looking like the season won’t start on time, which is bad for all parties really, most notably the fans. If the MLB and PA can figure something out, we can get an abbreviated Spring Training and get games going close to the usual start date. At this rate, we could see baseball start up in May or June. Missing one month would mean April gets canceled, plus you’d have to have some form of ST to help the players get ready. That could push the start of the 2022 season into May.
MLB is clear on this point: If there isn’t a deal by Monday, games will be cancelled and will not be made up. The season will be less than 162 games and players will not be paid for a full season, no matter what.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) February 23, 2022
This week has seen the MLBPA and the owners meet on three consecutive days with both sides claiming they are motivated to get a deal done. The MLB has given itself a self-imposed deadline of Monday, February 28th to reach an agreement or they risk having to push back the start to the regular season.
On Wednesday, February 23rd, it was confirmed that indeed if there is not a deal done by that Monday deadline, the regular season will not only start late but the games missed will be canceled and not made up. In this instance, the regular season would be less than the typical 162 games and the players won’t be paid a full season’s wages.