Updated: May 29, 2023
There’s good news and bad news if you’re a baseball fan. The bad news is that Major League Baseball and its players are in a stalemate. The collective bargaining agreement has expired and the owners have locked out the players.
The good news is that the last lockout was in 1994-95, so we’ve had peace for quite a long time. And secondly, the baseball season is still months away, so the two sides have plenty of time to work things out.
For now, let’s get you up to speed on the latest MLB lockout updates.
MLB Lockout Updates – January 23
Are we actually making some progress? It looks like that’s the case.
After Major League Baseball and its Players’ Union got together in mid-January, there was some pessimism as the two sides didn’t engage in any continuous conversation. There were some rumors that the two sides – while not meeting face to face – were using back channels to try and negotiate but nothing that was known for certain. However, we do know now that the league and the players will meet on Monday to continue the talks.
The meeting today is expected to see the two sides get together face-to-face with the players union providing a proposal. Apparently, they are willing to be a bit flexible on age-based free agency and cut down on the amount of revenue-sharing they are asking for the league. That would appear to be some progress. However, it is likely that in return for giving way to some things, they’ll be asking the owners for some others. What are those things and will the owners budge on those?
We’ll be able to gauge how well things go based on if the two sides continue communication or not. If they do in the coming days, it’s likely a good sign and a possibility that we might be on a path to end this lockout. If not, we’ll likely have a breakdown and another pause before we start making some headway. Stay tuned.
MLB Lockout Updates – January 13
Ladies and gentlemen, we have some movement. On Thursday, Major League Baseball and the Players Union are going to have a bargaining session. While these are simply reported from ESPN – we don’t know if these will actually take place – the fact that there is at least some smoke might indicate the very early beginnings of a fire.
What’s important to note is that this is the first conversation the two sides have had since the lockout started on December 1st. We have gone nearly a month and a half with no conversation, so this is much better than radio silence.
From what we know, the MLB was the one that reached out to set up the meeting with the union. They had plans to make a proposal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the proposal landed very well.
At the end of the day, we had some early reports indicating that the two sides discussed the core economic issues.
The MLB proposed to increase the pay of players with at least two years of Major League experience that isn’t eligible for salary arbitration. However, in exchange, they wanted the top 22% of players in-service time to lose their arbitration, which didn’t sit well with the players.
The players would also like to see an increase to the minimum wage for some players, which is currently $570,500 and while the league upped it to $600,000, it doesn’t seem enough for the players union. There was also no change to the $214 million luxury tax proposal.
For now, there was nothing really significant that happened here other than the two sides got together to talk. There’s still probably about three weeks before the real pressure kicks in. For now, let’s hope that this meeting was the first of many more to come.
MLB Lockout Updates – December 28
Major League Baseball and its players continue to squabble over a new collective bargaining agreement with no progress. For now, fans are left to twiddle their thumbs and just dream of the league getting back to business.
One fan has been doing his best to will the league back in action with his pen. The Redditor has been drawing a picture of Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout every single day of the lockout. With each 24 hours that passes, the user releases another picture.
At this point, we really don’t have too many details who is behind the account or the motivation, but we do know that the first drawing came out on December 3rd.
If you’re bored like many of the rest of us are – waiting for some progress in the talks – feel free to check out u/DidItForTheStory on Reddit to have a look at the art.
MLB Lockout Updates – December 24
It’s been a week since we last checked in and sadly, there’s been no real major news to report. Sometimes, when it comes to these lockout talks, there is no news reported from the league themselves but insiders trickle out a little bit of news. However, even insiders like Ken Rosenthal and Jeff Passan haven’t had anything to share. In fairness, it is the holiday season and it is possible that things are just quiet because the two sides are spending time with their families. Hopefully, as the calendar flips to 2022, the two sides realize how ridiculous they are being and come back to the table to hammer out an agreement.
MLB Lockout Updates – December 17
If you were hoping to see some progress with the lockout, you might want to look away. In the last week, we’ve seen almost no movement whatsoever. At this point, it doesn’t seem like there is any effort by either side to get anything done.
According to Sports Illustrated, the league and players union had not even met since the league imposed the lockout on December 1st. That means that we’ve gone two weeks with literally no progress.
Ideally, the two sides would be speaking to get some parameters of a new deal. They have to get on the same page for things like a joint drug agreement and other major economic issues. These need to be hashed out through long conversations. In other words, they should be locked in a boardroom together until they get somewhere with this. As it stands now, there is not even any conversation.
The general assumption was that the first work stoppage in 26 years wouldn’t be that bad. As of now, it doesn’t look like things are heading in the right direction. It’s too early to be worried. After all, it is possible that there are conversations happening behind closed doors. It’s also the holiday season, so maybe things are just generally quiet. If we’re still in the same spot a month from now, it might be time to start worrying.
MLB Gets Petty, Right Off The Bat – December 10
If you had the feeling that things would be different this time around, think again. Previous disputes were grimy and petty, and although there has been CBA-peace for a long time now, it’s clear that this round of talks won’t be any different.
The second the CBA expired, Major League Baseball removed all player faces from MLB.com. Players responded by going on Twitter and changing their profile pictures to blank silhouettes. Yes, this is where we’re at in the first week of the lockout; imagine where we’ll be if this actually lingers on.
Some Teams Made Moves Early
In anticipation of the lockout, we saw a number of teams pounce in free agency. All we had was a few days’ worth but the teams were able to spend just shy of $1.8 billion on contracts.
The biggest headline was Corey Seager, who signed with the Texas Rangers for 10 years and $325 million. The Rangers were the biggest spenders as they also signed Marcus Semien to a seven-year, $175 million contract. They’ve rebuilt the middle of their infield and added a lot of power to their lineup.
The team definitely needed the help as they finished with just 60 wins last season and in dead-last in the American League West. The offense was an issue as their 625 runs scored were the fewest in the American League.
Another team that was quite active was the New York Mets as they had both comings and goings. On the plus side, they signed Max Scherzer to a three-year, $130 million contract and added centerfielder Starling Marte to with a four-year, $78 million contract. At the same time, the team lost Marcus Stroman to the Chicago Cubs (three years, $71 million) and shortstop Javier Baez to the Detroit Tigers (six years, $140 million).
Many Teams, Players Left In Limbo
While some teams made their moves early, so that they can start preparing for the rest of the offseason, many others were still in the midst of negotiations when the CBA expired. That’s left both star free agents and key contenders hanging in the balance.
ESPN’s No. 1, No. 3, and No. 4 ranked free agents are all still on the market – even though the market is not active right now. Shortstop Carlos Correa is viewed as the crown jewel of this free agency class but the 27-year-old has to hold tight for now.
The belief is that the New York Yankees will do their best to land him but at this point, they can’t make a move. Looking further down the board, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story are also still in the waiting game.
Those two could also find deals surpassing or approaching the $300 million mark. They’ll eventually get their paydays but these might be some nervous times for them knowing how much money awaits them.
2022 World Series Odds Posted
The good news is that for baseball fans who remain optimistic, the 2022 World Series odds at PA sportsbooks have been posted. Sportsbooks like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and more have all put the odds to win next year’s Fall Classic.
As of right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers are favored to win it at all at +600. They are the only team inside of 10/1 on the board. Meanwhile, the Houston Astros are second in line at +1000, which makes them the favorite to win the American League. The Chicago White Sox are at +1100 while the Mets, who made some big moves, are also at +1100.
It’s interesting to see the Toronto Blue Jays at +1200. They did lose Robbie Ray in the offseason but replaced him with Kevin Gausman. Ray was a Cy Young Award winner. Gausman might be a strong replacement, though, as he was sixth in the National League in Cy Young Award voting.