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With the MLB lockout raging on, the players took matters into their own hands and set up a full training facility.
The Major League Baseball Players Association has organized a “fully staffed” stadium and facility for players to train in Mesa, AZ, according to sources familiar with the situation.
The facility is located at Bell Bank Park, a high-level facility that the PA has worked with regionally and nationally so players can continue to working on their own during the lockout.
There is interest in creating a similar facility in Florida, sources said. Said one source: “That could be next-level negotiating (I doubt it) or a sign of what they expect to happen.”
MLB lockout: What does this mean for start of regular season?
With Monday’s deadline potentially passing without much significant movement from either side, the players association is at the very least giving players somewhere to train while the two sides hash things out.
Rob Manfred previously declared it would be a failure if Opening Day were delayed, yet here we are at his self-imposed deadline, still waiting on significant traction.
After their first meeting on Monday, the owners suggested they were willing to cancel the first month of games. Players took that as a threat, just as owners could very much take this.
A training facility could theoretically play host to any number of activities — including games, if the players preferred.