After a weekend of negotiations that reportedly saw progress toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between MLB and MLB players, there’s hope that further negotiations today and tonight will yield a deal.
We’ve been monitoring news coverage of the talks. Union and agent sources are pessimistic about the state of talks, while owner sources are more optimistic, so take both stances with a grain of salt. A deadline of Feb. 28 in order to ensure a March 31 regular season launch was first imposed by owners, but there is certainly some wiggle room: with so many players so close to camps as it is (Bryce Harper has been cycling around Clearwater and taking selfies with fans!), a deal reached tomorrow or Wednesday may not impact an immediate launch to training before a March 8 start to games in what would be a slightly shortened spring training.
If a deal cannot be reached soon, we could see the beginning of the regular season, now set for March 31, delayed. That would cause changes in spring training, but with both players and MLB officials saying spring training needs to last four weeks or so, we are most likely to see spring training games added to the end of March rather than a shortening of the current schedule after the first week of training was postponed. Also, don’t forget that these labor negotiations do not impact the Minor League Baseball season, set to launch in early April: the MLBPA does not represent MiLB players, and with most players reporting already to camp, MiLB is right on schedule.
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