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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred provided a vague reply when asked about the status of the lockout negotiations.
For the 2022 MLB season to start on time, the league and MLB Player’s Association will have to successfully negotiate a collective bargaining agreement on Feb. 28. Sure enough, the negotiations are going down to the wire on that very day.
Commissioner Rob Manfred was spotted going back and forth between the ownership and players’ sides in Jupiter, FL. and was asked about the progress of negotiations.
Manfred replied, “We’re working on it.”
Rob Manfred on MLB lockout negotiations: ‘We’re working on it’
This is not exactly the update that baseball fans want to hear just hours before the deadline to start the season on time ticks down to zero. If neither side is to reach an agreement, then regular-season games threaten to be canceled. Manfred has said that it would be a “disastrous outcome for the industry.”
The Athletic’s Evan Drellich reported at 8:37 p.m. ET on Monday that a deal between MLB and MLBPA was “not close, but not impossible.” Drellich cited the competitive balance tax thresholds and pre-arbitration pool were among the big issues.
The players do have a plan in place if the 2022 campaign is to be delayed. According to FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray, the MLBPA has organized a “fully staffed” stadium and facility for players to train in Mesa, Ariz.
Both the league and players union have met on a daily basis for the past week, and the updates were far from encouraging. Fans will wait and see if a miracle happens when going down to the wire on Monday.