Major League Baseball’s long nightmare is over, as the three-month lockout finally came to an end on March 10. Grueling negotiations led to an increased CBT threshold, minimum salaries, and a number of other important details.
And now, some major work begins. Between now and Opening Day, teams must fill out their rosters via free agency and trades, all of Spring Training must happen, and the stage can only then be set for the 2022 regular season to begin.
The final vote from MLBPA showed a significant wish for players to return to the field, leading to a quick turnaround for Spring Training and Opening Day, according to Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic:
Spring training will start imminently, and Opening Day is expected to be April 7. The players’ board vote to accept a deal was 26-12, sources said. The executive subcommittee voted 8-0 against the deal, while 26 of 30 team reps voted in favor, sources said. Dissenting team reps were the Mets, Yankees, Astros and Cardinals.
While Rosenthal and Drellich do not give anything beyond “imminently” for the start of Spring Training, it has been rumored that players will need to report as soon as March 13, with exhibition games beginning just a few days after, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
Mandatory reporting date for players is in 3 days.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 10, 2022
This remains unconfirmed, but free agency is reported to begin as soon as Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. PT. If that’s the case, then absolute chaos could ensue in the baseball world over the next week.
Star free agents like Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, Clayton Kershaw, and Carlos Rodon remain unsigned. Meanwhile, plenty of teams are still scouring the trade market for improvements — or payroll slashing — with help from other teams.
This is an exciting day for baseball and its fans. As details come out, we will continue to discuss the new CBA and the soon-to-be frantic transaction window.