MLB Lockout: Major League Baseball enters its first work stoppage in 26 years
Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement has expired. MLB owners and the players association did not get a new agreement ahead of the midnight expiration last night, resulting in the first work stoppage in 26 years.
MLB owners unanimously voted Wednesday night to institute the lockout. The MLB will likely institute a transaction freeze during the lockout. No teams can make any moves involving players on 40-rosters during this time.
The Phillies did manage to make two moves before the lockout, signing reliever Corey Knebel and bench player Johan Carmargo both to one-year deals. Now, we wait until there’s a new CBA to continue transactions.
Rob Manfred, said that MLB owners decided to move to a “defensive lockout” and it was necessary because the Players Association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive. He continued in a long “letter to baseball fans” that the MLBPA has been unwilling to move from their starting position, compromise, or collaborate on solutions.
If you want, you can read Manfred’s full letter to MLB fans here.
With the lockout, came sweeping changes to MLB.com and all team websites almost immediately following the news last night. Websites have been completely wiped out of any references to current players. This includes photos of any current MLB player, and any active MLB player name that was used in promotions, advertisements for ticket sales, and merchandise.
Reason being, is that the MLBA holds the exclusive worldwide right to use, license, and sublicense the names, nicknames, likenesses, signatures, and playing records of all active MLB players. Now, if you go to the Phillies website, there are just placeholders where player photos used to be.
The MLB released a statement saying the following in regards to the website updates:
“Until a new agreement is reached, there will be limitations on the type of content we display. As a result, you will see a lot more content that focuses on the game’s rich history. Once a new agreement is reached, the up-to-the minute news and analysis you have come to expect will continue as usual.“
Following the MLB’s announcement of a “defensive lockout” the MLBPA released a statement calling the shutdown a dramatic measure, regardless of the timing.
Needless to say, it’s going to be a long winter. The two sides met for just seven minutes on Wednesday. The MLBPA rejected the league’s proposal to drop certain issues from discussions, including the six-year reserve before free agency.
Among a laundry list of things, the players want a bigger piece of the league’s revenue and more money going to younger players. They also want the luxury-tax threshold raised from $210 million to $240 million. Other issues include advertising patches on jerseys and a 12-team playoff format as a potential ideas to generate more revenue.
Manfred said the following in his letter:
“I remain optimistic that both sides will seize the opportunity to work together to grow, protect, and strengthen the game we love. The MLB is ready to work around the clock to meet that goal. I urge the Players Association to join us at the table.”
Spring training starts on February 26th with Opening Day set for March 31, 2022.