By Lauren Wong
Within minutes of the MLB’s collective bargaining agreement expiration the organization announced the lockout, making this the first work stoppage since the 1994-95 players strike. This means that all players are banned from team workout facilities and weight rooms. A transaction freeze is in place until the lockout is over. Because of this, teams aren’t allowed to talk to the players, make any trades, free-agent signings, waivers, releases, etc. Everything is simply on pause.
Spring training is supposed to be Feb. 26 – Mar. 29, with the official season opener being Mar. 31. This newly announced lockout jeopardizes this. The good news is that there’s still plenty of time until then, a lockout mid-winter isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Although no one wants to miss out on all the spring training games, if needed they can have a shortened spring season as they did last year with their three-week summer camp. The biggest concern is if it cuts into the actual season.
Unfortunately, this is something that we’re just going to have to follow along with in real time as updates are announced. Baseball Commissioner, Rob Manfred, said in a letter to fans that they believe this lockout is the best way to protect the 2022 season. They’re hopeful that this’ll end before spring training is supposed to start, but are optimistic that it won’t cut into the actual season.
The whole reasoning for this all comes down to money. A $10 billion a year business, it’s inevitable that issues will arise when it comes to distributing the money. This work stoppage will end as soon as the MLBPA figures out the money situation.
Arizona and Florida are there in case the MLBPA needs to run workout facilities. Players are also allowed to participate in winter leagues, independent leagues, and professional leagues overseas while this mess is being sorted out.
With the whole MLB calendar being one big TBD, let’s try and stay positive that spring training will still be underway and the rest of the season will be smooth sailing. And, hopefully we will be seeing the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Guardians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and the Texas Rangers back on Arizona Cactus League’s 10 fields.