With the consensus being no progress was made during yesterday’s MLB lockout talks, we’re seeing a potential delay to the beginning of spring training and possibly the 2022 regular season, though it’s way too early for specifics.
With the talks yielded no announced or hinted progress–and, to be honest, both sides are being very quiet on the MLB lockout talks–they did show a clear road map on priorities for both sides. For MLB owners, the goals are simple: keep costs down as much as possible and not make too many changes in a system seen as being in their favor. For players, the emphasis is raising payrolls–which have declined in recent years–while getting more money earlier to young players and creating more penalties for teams tanking. Some of the breakthroughs last week addressed player concerns, with both sides seen as making concessions early in the negotiations. And indeed there were reportedly a few more concessions made yesterday.
We weren’t in the room where it happens yesterday–and neither were any of the pundits proclaiming certainties about what will happen next–but the calendar won’t yield to lobbying from anyway. With pitchers and catchers set to report around Feb. 15, the first workouts with full squads set for Feb. 21 and the first games on Feb. 26, we’re looking at the very really real possibility that spring training will be delayed or altered. (Not canceled, interestingly, just delayed.) Meanwhile, minor leaguers are expected to report on Feb. 21, and since the minor leaguers are not locked out, their spring training will proceed as normal as will the start of their 2022 regular season.
While talks will reportedly continue on lower-level issues, we don’t expect any major news until Feb. 10, after the owners’ meetings in Orlando. Here are takes on the negotiations from ESPN and the New York Post.