MLB Lockdown: Owners and Players Guild in Baseball at Stalemate After Agreement Expires

The Atlanta Braves lift the World Championship trophy, which is watched by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred (second from right, in dark suit)
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred (second right, in dark suit) presented the World Championship trophy to the Atlanta Braves a month ago – but is now at odds with the players union

Major League Baseball entered its first hiatus in 26 years after imposing a shutdown on its players.

The four-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) expired at midnight Wednesday.

And there is little chance that the MLB and the MLBPA will reach an early resolution.

While the lockdown is in place, clubs cannot sign, trade or release key players in the league or offer new contracts.

The predicament means that players are not even allowed to communicate with their teams, although they are allowed to practice on their own, while minor league players and transactions are not affected.

Even the official MLB website has shifted its content to focus on the history of baseball, rather than familiar news and analysis of current players.

There is no immediate threat to the 2022 MLB season, which is set to begin March 31 after a month of spring training.

However, the two sides – the MLB and the MLBPA – have been far apart in recent talks, with the last meeting lasting just seven minutes, and they appear to be far from agreeing on a new CBA.

Topics for negotiation are set to include the extension of the Designated Hitter (DH) rule to the National League (where there are currently no DH and bat pitchers), the number of teams that will participate in the post-season, and the time players become eligible to arbitrate salary and free agency.

Since the 1994-95 players’ strike, which cut short the 1994 MLB season and forced the cancellation of that year’s World Championship, the League and the Federation have agreed to five consecutive non-stop alliances.

What do the two say?

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement In the form of an open letter to the masses,External link Expressing disappointment with the situation.

He wrote: “We believe that the shutdown in the 2022 season is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season. We hope that the shutdown will lead to the start of negotiations and bring us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time.

“This defensive shutdown was necessary because seeing MLB players would threaten the ability of most teams to compete. It is simply not a viable option.

“From the start, the MLBPA was unwilling to move from the starting position, compromise or collaborate on solutions. Unfortunately, it appears that the Players Association came to the negotiating table with a confrontational strategy over compromise.”

while, MLBPA He issued a statement describing the shutdown as a “dramatic measure, not required by law or for any other reason.”

The federation continued: “The choice of owners, was clear and simple, calculated in particular to pressure players to give up rights and benefits, and to abandon good faith bargaining proposals. These tactics are not new.”

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