On Dec. 2, 2021, MLB made the decision to lock out the players upon the expiration of the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). What followed was a series of petty fights through the media, bad faith negotiations, and arbitrary decision-making by the league’s ownership.
All of this culminated in an unsuccessful eight-day negotiating session in Jupiter, Florida, and the cancellation of the first two series of the 2022 season. The daily meetings began in an attempt to complete a deal before Feb. 28, a hard deadline set by MLB.
More than one week following this “disastrous outcome,” in the words of commissioner Rob Manfred, the two sides have finally come to an agreement on a new CBA. The deal was first reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN on March 10:
BREAKING: Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor deal, sources tell ESPN. While it still needs to be ratified by both parties, that is expected to be a formality, and when it is:
Baseball is back.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 10, 2022
Over the coming days, plenty of time will be spent breaking down each and every detail of the new agreement. But in the final few days of bargaining, the competitive balance tax (CBT), minimum salaries, pre-arbitration bonus pool, and the international draft emerged as the most vital issues.
With this, MLB also proposed a new set of dates to begin Spring Training and the 2022 season. For now, those dates appear to be March 17 and April 7, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com:
As I just reported on @MLBNetwork, should the CBA be agreed upon and ratified today, Opening Day would likely be April 7. Spring Training games would begin March 17 or 18, and free agency and the business of baseball would be open TONIGHT.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) March 10, 2022
Now, perhaps the most hectic week in recent MLB memory will begin. Between —‘s agreement and the start of Spring Training, teams will make free agent signings, trades, and other moves in an attempt to finalize their rosters as quickly as possible.
Some blockbuster names like Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, Trevor Story, Carlos Rodon, and Clayton Kershaw remain unsigned. Teams like the Oakland Athletics — who have reportedly shown interest in trading numerous players — have not yet made any big moves.
Baseball fans who were starved from the inaction of the lockout should very quickly be satisfied. Between the frantic roster building, Spring Training, and the start of the 2022 season, it figures to be an exciting month in the MLB world.