As of right now, there is no collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between MLB and the Players Association.
Since the parties couldn’t negotiate a deal past the league-imposed deadline (Tuesday), MLB responded by cancelling the first two series of the season.
Even if there wasn’t a new CBA in place, there could be baseball right now if the owners hadn’t locked out the players in December.
The lockout prevents any games from happening, as well as spring training; and transactions involving players on the 40-man roster are currently banned.
Players can’t communicate with team officials and can’t even use the club’s facilities to train or rehab injuries.
Everything is frozen: the lockout is the league’s resource to halt things, as opposed to the strike, which is associated with players.
The 1994 stoppage was a strike, for example.
In any case, if MLB wants to play baseball and have a season, it’s actually as simple as lifting the lockout.
Reminder: MLB Owners locked the players out, and can lift the lockout at any time they want regardless of the current status of the CBA.
— MLB Nerds (@MLBNerds) March 1, 2022
Owners Are Unlikely To Lift The Lockout
That won’t happen for several reasons: the idea is to negotiate the CBA and play under those rules for the next five seasons.
Additionally, there could be baseball if players don’t strike, which may be a possibility.
It’s plausible that players don’t want to work under these conditions and lead a strike, but who knows what they will do if the owners lifted their lockout.
Players, fans, and hundreds of team (and stadium) workers are patiently waiting to see the final chapter of this ugly novel.
Negotiations have been rough for everybody, most notably the players, who have seen the owners’ ugly side time and time again.
Will there be an ending for the lockout soon?