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#pounditTuesday, October 4, 2022

Report: Growing concern about how long MLB lockout may last

Rob Manfred

The first meeting between Major League Baseball and the players’ union in over a month did little to spark optimism that a deal could be reached anytime soon. In fact, the opposite seems to have happened.

MLB made its first post-lockout labor proposal on Thursday, but it was poorly received by the players, according to Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers of ESPN. Sources close to the negotiations suggested that the offer and the reception it got increased the likelihood that the start of spring training will have to be postponed.

MLB’s aim with its proposal was to start a discussion on key issues such as salary arbitration and the draft, but several topics of importance to the union were not part of the proposal. There is no word on when the union might offer a counterproposal, with some sources fearing it may not come until closer to the end of January. In that scenario, given the distance between the two sides, it would be very difficult for the two sides to reach a deal before pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report.

A great deal of distance remains between the two sides on key economic issues, and a deal is not expected anytime soon even if regular negotiations begin.

The two sides had not talked in over a month before Thursday, apparently with the hope that waiting until January would provide leverage in talks. There isn’t really any indication that has happened at this point, and rapid progress may be needed to prevent the work stoppage from impacting the regular season.

Photo: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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