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After meeting with top union officials for a mere seven minutes, MLB officials have left the CBA proceedings as a lockout seems imminent.
All day, the MLB world has monitored the likelihood of a potential MLB lockout set to begin tomorrow. If the MLBPA and MLB owners wanted to avoid locking horns in a lockout, they would need to agree on terms before midnight on Dec. 2.
As of 3 p.m. ET, MLB players have been told that CBA negotiations are done for the day. Unless the sides return to the negotiating table within the next nine hours, the stoppage in talks virtually ensures that the lockout will ensue tomorrow.
Further context paints an ominous picture of how the offseason negotiating will go between players and owners. MLB insider Jeff Passan reported that the momentous meeting only lasted seven minutes, after which MLB negotiators left the hotel where negotiations are taking place.
MLB negotiators leave CBA talks on the table as MLB anticipates a lockout
Earlier today, newly-signed New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer shared his perspective on how the negotiations would go down. Scherzer, who is one of eight MLB players on the executive board of the MLBPA, said that “hearing the tone in negotiations, the lockout seems like that’s a very likely scenario.”
Scherzer also indicated that the MLBPA is prepared to financially support players through a lockout with a “war chest” accumulated over time.
Scherzer reiterated one of the prevailing issues players see in the modern MLB: a lack of competitiveness between teams and a league designed to encourage tanking.
“Adjustments have to be made to be made to bring up the competition … When we don’t have that, we have issues,” Scherzer said.
Another issue is how second and third-tier players remain underpaid on their initial rookie contracts, making it difficult for these players to sign big contracts as their performance declines approaching 30. While there are many MLB players who play into their late 30s and early 40s, hundreds of players remain unprotected in what can be exploitative rookie deals.
As long as the lockout is in place, players and teams cannot have contact, meaning free agents cannot sign with new teams until a new deal is reached.
From the dramatic exit on display Wednesday afternoon, it seems the 2021 MLB is all but inevitable.