For baseball fans, December has been one of the most difficult months in recent memory. After a free agent frenzy that saw hundreds of millions of dollars spent on marquee players, Major League Baseball has gone silent. MLB chose to lock out the players after an inability to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
There’s no denying that agreeing to a new CBA is an incredibly difficult task. There are so many factors at play with both sides trying to strike a deal that serves their best interests. However, nearly two weeks into the lockout, it feels as though no progress has been made.
Reportedly, it may stay that way until at least January, as core economic issues are going untouched until the new year, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic:
Major League Baseball and the Players Association are unlikely to talk core economics until January, people with knowledge of the talks said.
Drellich did report, though, that the two sides are meeting on Thursday to negotiate non-economic issues, meaning some progress could be made. But according to MLBPA lead negotiator Bruce Meyer, they waiting on Rob Manfred and the owners to counter their standing proposals.
“We’ve attempted to follow the usual process making proposals,” Meyer said Dec. 2. “We made a major proposal in Dallas this week, which in our view, gave the league significant economic benefits. The league chose not to make a counter. But we stand ready, as Tony (Clark) said, to continue negotiating.”
Resuming core economic talk in January, while certainly disappointing for fans who want to see their team’s next offseason moves, does provide some hope that a deal will get done before games are lost. Pitchers and catchers generally report to Spring Training in the middle of February.
If the two sides can find some form of common ground by the end of January, it would give teams a couple of weeks to go on another frenzy of moves before it’s time to head to Spring Training. That remains the best case scenario.
On the flip side, we are nearing the territory where lost games become a possibility. That is not only a horrible outcome for the fans, but it would be a disaster for the league after the lost finances from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dillon Thomas signs Minor League deal with Angels
Amid the lockout, Minor League processes still go on as usual. That’s how the Los Angeles Angels were able to agree to a contract with outfielder Dillon Thomas. Thomas made his debut for the Seattle Mariners in 2021, but is now headed to Spring Training for his 12th season as a pro.