Just when you had hope that there would be a regular MLB sports season, after two years of strange seasons because of Covid-19, it looks like there will now be a third consecutive season of disappointment for sponsors, neighborhood businesses, and baseball fans. As of the 5:00 p.m. deadline Tuesday afternoon, an agreement was not reached by the MLB Players Association Union and the MLB organization. Per Rob Manfred, the MLB Commissioner, Monday’s deadline was necessary to be able to begin the MLB regular season on-time. This is following the MLB Spring Training season being cancelled for the same reason. As of the date of this story, the first two regular series have been cancelled, moving the start date from April 8th to April 15th assuming that no more games are cancelled.
What is at conflict is the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between players and the league. One of the issues is the CBT (Competitive Balance Tax) payroll tax and what that will look like for paychecks. It functions like a salary cap. There are also disagreements over minimum salaries for players that make it to the MLB and the size of the theoretical bonus pool for pre-arbitration player negotiations. According to sources close to the MLB, there had been earlier reports that negotiations were close to agreement, but players continue to voice those negotiations aren’t anywhere near where they need to be. They also claim that deadlines have been created by the league and are self-imposed, meaning they could change the deadline date if they wanted to.
Per CBS Sports.com, the league feels that they have to do the lockout now so that an agreement can be made prior to the season beginning. This takes the power of being able to strike in the middle of the season away from the players. There was also a six-week delay in the owners giving their first proposal to the players, offering deals that were totally unreasonable. There has been no definitive date set for the next meeting at this time.