Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, the contract that allows MLB and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) to conduct business, expired Wednesday night at 11:59 p.m. ET. MLB owners voted to lock players, unanimously according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, and the federation announced its decision to lock players shortly after the official expiration of the CBA. The lockdown marked the league’s first shutdown since 1994-95. During the lockdown, free agents will not be allowed to sign and teams will not be allowed to trade players who are members of the alliance..
When announcing the locking decision, Commissioner Rob Manfred has released an open letter to fans. It reads in part:
“Simply put, we believe the off-season lockdown is the best mechanism to secure the 2022 season. We hope that this lockdown will initiate negotiations and lead us to an agreement for allowing the season to start on time This defensive lockdown was necessary because the Players Association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten most teams’ ability to compete. From the very beginning, the MLBPA was not willing to move from the ground up, to compromise or to work together to find a solution.”
Major League Baseball Players Association also released a statement in response to the lock owner. It reads:
“This outage is a dramatic measure, no matter the timing. It’s not required by law or for any other reason. It’s the owner’s choice, plain and simple, to be made. specific calculations to pressure the player to give up the rights and interests, and to give up the goods the proposed bargaining belief will not only benefit the player, but also benefit the whole industry and games.
“These tactics aren’t new. We’ve been here before, and Players have done it again and again – guided by a solidarity that has been forged over generations. We will. so again here.
“We remain determined to get back on the field under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement that is fairly negotiated for all parties and provides fans with the best version of the game that we all can afford. favorite.”
Manfred held a press conference on Thursday morning, admitting that the lockdown was “not good for business” while expressing optimism about starting the 2022 season on time.
The league and the players union have been apart for a while on the new CBA, and last minute talk between the two sides this week in Texas did not lead to an agreement. Here’s more on what the lockdown means for baseball.
Some of the most contentious aspects of the negotiations center on efforts to change agent rights and free compensation and ways to inspire more competitiveness across the league. As part of recent negotiations, the MLBPA proposed changes to include free agents after five years of service (instead of six), paying referees earlier in players’ careers. and increase the luxury tax threshold, among other things, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN.
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MLB opposed a proposal of its own to remove cost-of-living increases from pension plans, by Travis Sawchik of The Scoreand that would raise the luxury tax threshold to $214 million ($210 million in 2021), by Evan Drellich of The Athletic.
It should be noted that the expiration of the CBA does not require the league to close. Rather, the federation could continue to operate as usual with the CBA negotiations taking place concurrently. The owners, then, chose soberly to enter the lockdown, shutting down the league for a period that could last a week or a few months.
The major league portion of the annual Winter Meeting has been canceled and Draft Rule 5 will be adjourned until after both sides ratify the new CBA, whenever that can be proven.
This is the fourth and ninth shutdown in baseball history. The previous three occurred in 1973 (lasted 12 days), 1976 (13 days) and 1990 (32 days). None of that resulted in regular season games being postponed or cancelled. It’s unclear how long this lockdown will last, but the players are expected to go to spring training in mid-February.
https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-lockout-owners-trigger-baseballs-first-work-stoppage-since-1994-95/ Locked MLB: Baseball’s First Job Stopped by Trigger Owners Since 1994-95