The two sides remain far apart on numerous issues mostly centered around the core economics of the sport, specifically that league revenue continues to rise while player compensation has dropped on average.
The union has also grown frustrated by their belief that MLB is not taking them seriously during the negotiations as the league continues to send offers the players find insulting.
Major League Baseball on Thursday requested the immediate assistance of a federal mediator to help resolve the sport’s lockout, sources told ESPN, potentially inserting the presence of a neutral party to end a work stoppage now in its third month.
The league reached out to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, a governmental agency that attempts to help resolve labor disputes, sources said. Mediation is not mandatory, and the MLB Players Association would need to agree to the involvement of a third party.
While the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service is an independent party, their involvement would require approval from the union and the MLBPA is unwilling to do that at this time, they announced in a statement:
Mediators may eventually be brought into the negotiations as they have in the past.
They were previously used during the players’ strikes in 1981 and 1994; the latter of which did not lead to a resolution and ultimately saw the World Series canceled. A federal mediator was successful with the 2013 NHL lockout and MLS strike in 2015.