The MLB is Officially on Lockout

At midnight on December 1st, the MLB players league failed to sign a contract with the MLB, resulting in a lockout.

At midnight on December 1st, the MLB players league failed to sign a contract with the MLB, resulting in a lockout.

Justin T., Sophia T., and Morgan C.

Recently announced by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the MLB team governors have voted unanimously for an MLB lockout for the first since 1994. The MLB and MLBPA have failed to reach a new CBA contract as the previous one expired December 1 at midnight. 

“While we are disappointed in the situation our game finds itself in today, we can assure you that MLB negotiated in good faith, worked tirelessly and exhausted every reasonable avenue to try to avoid the first work stoppage in nearly 30 years. The purpose of taking this step today is to accelerate the urgency needed to reach an agreement as quickly as possible with the goal of avoiding damage to the 2022 season,” said Braves CEO, Derek Schiller.

Until the MLB and MLBPA are able to agree on a new CBA contract, free agents are not allowed to sign new contracts and players are not allowed into their teams facilities. Along with those restrictions, players are not allowed to speak to their own managers. This means that for the time being, baseball is on hold.

“But for me personally, if I can’t go to (the Braves spring training site) to do my rehab, that’s not going to make it impossible to do my rehab, but I’m sure the Braves would like to have hands and eyes on me,” said Braves All-Star pitcher, Charlie Morton. 

The question for most fans is, how long will this lockout last? The last lockout in 1994-95 lasted 232 days, ending on April 2nd 1995. However, the real season didn’t start on time, beginning  on April 25. Due to the late start of the season, there were only 144 games played rather than 162. 

“I never felt the same way about baseball again after that,” said Dave Stewart, a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. “Even today, after all of my years in baseball, the passion I have for the game has never been the same. All because of that strike.”

So what is the huge disagreement between the two sides? The MLBPA is trying to increase player salaries. They proposed the idea of players being paid during the offseason. Obviously, the team owners did not agree with that idea, as the meeting lasted a total of seven minutes. Furthermore, players are pushing for younger players’ salaries to be raised. The MLBPA also proposed the idea of a 14-team playoff field. In the 14-team playoffs, the division winner would be allowed to choose their playoff opponents. And players want to raise the luxury tax threshold to $214 million for the 2022 season. 

“Unless this CBA completely addresses the competition (issues) and younger players getting paid, that’s the only way I’m going to put my name on it,” said Max Scherzer.

On the other hand, MLB is refusing to agree with any of the players’ proposals. Team owners and governors refuse to give out their own money to players during the offseason which is causing a lot of conflict between the two sides. In addition, the MLB wants to raise the luxury tax threshold to $245 million for the up-coming season and wants to eliminate non-tax penalties. This means that if a team exceeds the $245 million mark, they will not be fined. 

“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,” said Rob Manfred, commissioner of the MLB

Because of the lack of coordination between the players and owners, the season could be canceled. Will they agree to a contract before the season starts, or will fans, players, and coaches all lose out on the game they love?

“You don’t leave the game. The game leaves you,” said Hall of Famer, Rich Gossage.