When Will The MLB Lockout End?

Published 12/21/2021, 10:13 AM EST


The MLB has been in its first league imposed lockout in 26 years this December. The collective bargaining agreement expired on December 1st at 11:59 PM and the league imposed a lockout on December 2nd at 12:01. A lockout that is currently ongoing and is looking unlikely to end before the new year.

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The MLB Lockout and how it came to be

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The two sides, namely the owners and the players met briefly on December 16th, 2021 but it was reported that discussions were based mainly around non-economic issues  including clauses in the agreement like scheduling, grievance procedures, special events, and/or the drug and domestic violence policies.

The reason that both the sides don’t seem to be too restless to be making their way back to the diamond could be that spring training doesn’t usually begin until mid-February and regular season games don’t start until March 31 .

While the League is usually inactive in December with Football dominating the sporting landscape, this year has been an outlier. Between Thanksgiving and Dec. 1, teams committed nearly $1.5 billion in free agency.

League Commissioner, Rob Manfred, has insisted that the lockout isn’t a punitive measure but rather just there to inject some urgency into the talks and negotiations.

Watch : From Live Play to Locker Rooms – Drone Reveals Every Part of an MLB Stadium

The Nature of Negotiations

The divide between the two sides does not seem like a bridge too far, which is why most expect a deal will eventually get done. The player union actually want changes that allow players to earn more money earlier in their career. This could reflect in changes to the arbitration system or even the duration for players to reach free-agency.
Some have even put forward the suggestion of codified rules to discourage teams from holding back prospects in the minor leagues to delay their service time for the main franchise. The player’s union would also like to see teams encouraged to spend money and compete for the playoffs rather than “tank” in a bid for higher draft picks.
While the league may be in some need for reinvention, the owners seem happy to maintain the economic status quo. The players would prefer the injection of some new ideas like an NBA style draft lottery. Other ideas the owners have put forth include the proposal for expanded playoffs and the classification of a universal designated hitter.
However, the preliminary meeting has only led to discussion of non-core issues.

Fan Reaction to the Lockout

Fans of the sport, however, will be hoping this gets resolved as soon as possible. Even if it is only so that the off-season can take off again and the regular season starts on time. While a playing delay is unlikely at the moment, the fans still have no hard dates as to resumption of the League.

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It looks those expecting the end of the lockout as a Christmas present for the fans will likely have to wait for atleast the new year before they can heave a sigh of relief.
Fans too took to Twitter to understand just what has been going on.

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Aditya Deshingkar

124 articles

Aditya Deshingkar is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. An aspiring lawyer, Aditya is a final year student of the law program at GLC. Notably, as an avid sports lover, he shares a keen interest in NBA, MLB, and Formula 1.

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