It has been a grueling nine days of negotiations between MLB and the Players Association. Following an imposed Feb. 28 deadline, the two sides went to work on trying to form a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
On Feb. 28, MLB and the union met 13 times with the hopes that a deal would come together. It didn’t, but there was enough progress that MLB pushed back their deadline to 2:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday, March 1.
When the two sides met again Tuesday morning, MLB rejected any compromise, leaving the Players Association with a weak “best-and-final” offer, almost guaranteeing a rejection from the union.
After quick deliberation, the MLBPA has reportedly declined MLB’s offer, opening the door for the 2022 season to be delayed, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic:
BREAKING: MLB players reject best, final offer from owners. If owners and commissioner Rob Manfred now follow through on their stated threat, Opening Day 2022 will be delayed, and some number of games in the regular season canceled. Players contingent is leaving Florida.
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 1, 2022
MLB previously made known their willingness to miss one month of games, making this an unsurprising outcome. The owners have frequently chosen obscene profits over the game that so many fans love, and Tuesday showed no growth in character.
This is part of why it took the league 43 days to make an initial CBA offer despite claiming the lockout was a mechanism to jumpstart negotiations. It’s also why they imposed arbitrary deadlines that players simply never agreed to.
Now, commissioner Rob Manfred is almost certain to announce the delayed start of the 2022 season with very little direction on where things go from here. In addition to the large gaps remaining in CBA talks, the two sides will now have to make a completely separate agreement for 2022.
Both Manfred and the union are scheduled to appear publicly in the very near future.