MLB: Rob Manfred discusses the possibility of a Major League lockout

The current collective agreement expires in less than two weeks, with the possibility of an off-season freeze looming. If no new deal is reached when the current one ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 1, the general expectation within the industry is that owners will block players, which will result in a ban on transactions until another agreement is reached.

The MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, referred to the state of the labor situation when speaking with journalists this Thursday afternoon. The commissioner stopped short of calling the lockout inevitable, but he certainly seemed to suggest that the course of action was on the table. Manfred made a distinction between the impact that a winter transactions freeze would have on sport and that of a work stoppage that lasts until next season:

I can’t believe there’s a single fan in the world who doesn’t understand that an offseason lockdown that moves the process forward is different than a labor dispute that costs games. “

As for whether the parties still had hopes of working out a new collective bargaining agreement before December 1, Manfred said the league was:

Committed to continue offering proposals and suggestions in an effort to reach an agreement before “then, but acknowledged that” time is becoming an issue.

Technically, the expiration of the collective agreement would not require a lockout. As MLB Trade Rumors’ Tim Dierkes explored in August, the parties continued to conduct offseason business during the past winters (1993-94 and 94-95) that proceeded without a collective agreement. The players went on strike when no agreement was reached during the 1994 season, and that year’s World Series was eventually canceled.

Manfred hinted that the league wouldn’t want to risk negotiating without a deal this time around, pointing to the ’94 strike and trends in other professional sports leagues as justification:

I don’t think ’94 worked too well for anyone. I think when you watch other sports, the pattern has become controlling the timing of the labor dispute and trying to minimize the possibility of a real disruption to the season. That’s what it’s all about: avoiding damaging the season. “

The commissioner’s comments come against a background of very slow exchange between the league and the Players Association. The MLBPA has made two core economic proposals in the past six months; the league has made only one, although it modified its August offer last week.

There doesn’t appear to have been much progress on economic issues, as the MLBPA pursues goals such as increasing luxury tax thresholds and eligibility for earlier arbitration.

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Meanwhile, the league has pushed to lower luxury tax markers and an age-based system for free agency eligibility that could delay the path to the open market for the game’s brightest stars, among other things.

Rafael Martinez

I am fond of the King of Sports, especially the Boston Red Sox in MLB and in general all of Mexican baseball. This profession has given me the opportunity to cover major events such as the Caribbean Series, LMB All Star, LMP (uninterrupted since 2009), signings of important players. I had the chance to attend the 2013 World Classic in Arizona, USA, albeit as a fan. Apart from this beautiful sport, I love basketball, where I have also narrated games and even an NBA friendly 10 years ago, but I carry baseball in my veins. Bachelor of Communication Sciences from the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS) , from which I graduated in 2011. I was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa and started in the world of sports journalism in 2004 in the newspaper El Sol de Mazatlán, where I was a baseball columnist and reporter at the same time. In January 2009 I came to El Debate as a journalist reporter and it was almost six years (in the first stage), until in November 2014 I emigrated to the radio providing my services in Línea Directa-Grupo RSN. My cycle there ended in July 2019 and within days, El Debate gave me another opportunity to work and opened the doors for me again. That is how I came to Al Bat, where I have been since 2019 as a web journalist.

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MLB: Rob Manfred discusses the possibility of a Major League lockout