Concerns Mount for the 2022 MLB Season

Concerns Mount for the 2022 MLB Season - partycasino

With spring training just around the corner, concern is mounting that the MLB season won't be able to start as scheduled. With the stoppage not showing any signs of coming to an end, there are fears that spring training will be delayed, impacting on the season start date.

The MLB and players have been deadlocked since the start of December, unable to reach an agreement after the expiry of a five-year contract.

The season isn't due to start until 31 March, but the players need at least 21-28 days of training plus extra time for new COVID protocols and reporting. That means we're getting perilously close to the season being delayed.

So far, the MLB have refused to acknowledge any official delay, remaining steadfast in locking down the players. No formal statement is expected to be forthcoming until 26 February, when the first preseason exhibition games are due to take place. At that point, an official response will be unavoidable as tickets have been sold, forcing the MLB to directly address the issue.

This is the ninth stoppage that has been seen in the history of baseball. But the first one in more than 25 years.

With three months of negotiation so far, are the two sides any closer to an agreement?

Limited Progress

On 12 February, the MLB put forward a new proposal, but the players met it with dismay. There has been very little movement on what the players view as the core issues, and the two sides remain a very long way apart in their respective positions.

Service time manipulation, salaries for younger players and competitive integrity (a pick lottery for non-playoff teams) remains some of the main areas of concern. Teams and players have offered some concessions which they thought would spur the MLB to make similar compromises, but there has been little movement from the other side.

The only real area where a consensus has been reached is the subject of advertising patches on the uniform, with players agreeing to the league’s request.

The problem is that only limited meetings have taken place in the three month period, so the two sides haven’t been striving especially hard to come together and thrash things out.

A chunk of the season could end up being cancelled, or in theory, the season could even start with replacement players, something that all concerned will be keen to avoid.

What Does Stoppage Mean to the Players?

When the MLB announces a lockout, players are unable to train with their clubs. They can follow their own personal fitness programmes, even if these were previously devised by the club.

However, they can't use any of the club's training facilities and can't access any nutritional, conditioning or physical training advice. They are still permitted access to HR functions, but anything relating to their performance is barred.

This means that even once the lockout is lifted, players can't just jump right into the season; a period of club training will be even more critical than usual.