There isn’t a set date for the 2022 MLB season to start: at this point, all we know is that the league and the union don’t even know when spring training will begin.
The root of the problem is that they can’t seem to come to terms on the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), given that the old one expired in late 2021.
The two sides want entirely different things, and economics are a real problem.
When economics and competitive matters are both problems, like it happens in MLB, things get complicated.
For example, players have asked the league many times to control and prevent service time manipulation.
In most cases, if a team holds prospects in the minor leagues for a couple of weeks, they gain an extra year of service time.
Players hate this, and for good reason, because it pushes their access to free agency one year.
The Never-Ending Problem Of Service Time Manipulation
Seeing MLB-ready players toying around with minor leaguers just so teams can get an extra year is a common problem in MLB.
Fans certainly now this, and compare the issue with other major professional leagues.
“NBA has 19,20, and 21 year olds all over the court. NFL teams will make their fans watch a full season of embarrassing football all for the “learning curve” of the rookie QB. MLB will keep a 25 year in AAA hitting 30 home runs and 100 RBI because he’s not ready,” a fan tweeted.
NBA has 19,20, and 21 year olds all over the court
NFL teams will make their fans watch a full season of embarrassing football all for the "learning curve" of the rookie QB
MLB will keep a 25 year in AAA hitting 30 home runs and 100 RBI because he's not ready
— @realBoShek (@realboshek) February 11, 2022
Some will say, and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong, that it’s way more difficult to adjust to major league pitching and hitting coming from the minors.
That’s true, to some extent.
The problem is when the player has shown for a sustained period of time he is ready, and teams keep them down on purpose.
It’s certainly something MLB needs to solve before the season starts.
Will the players achieve something on this particular front?