MLB Talks Go On as Deadline Arrives

Owners, players aren't close on economic issues
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2022 7:45 PM CST
MLB, Players Keep Talking as Owners' Deadline Hits
Baseball fan Noah McMurrain of Boynton Beach, Fla., stands outside Roger Dean Stadium as Major League Baseball negotiations continue Monday in Jupiter, Fla.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Major League Baseball hits its deadline Monday for reaching a deal with the players union in time to avoid canceling regular-season games—and kept right on negotiating. The owners and players remained far apart on the economic issues, CBS Sports reports. If no deal is reached Monday night, negotiations are expected to pause for a while. MLB would most likely postpone a week's worth of games at a time, as it did in 2020. The games are postponed rather than canceled immediately because teams don't have to provide ticket refunds right away for postponements.

Spring training games would be scrapped first, of course. When the owners set the Monday deadline, they said it was the latest talks could go before there wouldn't be time for four weeks of spring training before the March 31 start of the regular season, though baseball has made do with three-week spring training in the past. MLB didn't put a time on the deadline, so presumably the talks could continue Monday night, per the AP. The meeting began three hours earlier than usual, at 10am, at Roger Dean Stadium, in Jupiter, Fla. "We're working at it," Commissioner Rob Manfred said about 6pm, after meeting with union representatives for the second time in the day.

Spring training games already have been called off through March 7. The shutdown began when owners locked out the players as the previous collective bargaining agreement expired. Manfred had said regular-season cancellations would be disastrous, but baseball didn't make a proposal for the first six weeks or so. The owners and the Players Association met only six times on the core economic issues in the first 2½ months. By the AP's count, each canceled day of the regular season would cost players $20.5 million in salary; the owners' revenue loss is tougher to figure. (Read more MLB stories.)

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