MLB and the MLB Players Association representatives will continue talks on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) after a marathon session on Monday, with the start of spring training still on hold.
This is not surprising. There are deadlines, and there are deadlines. A deadline of Feb. 28 to reach a new CBA was set by MLB officials to ensure a March 31 start to the regular season. MLB had already pushed the start of spring training back by roughly a week–full squads were set to report Feb. 21, and games were originally scheduled to begin Feb. 26. Now spring games are tentatively set to begin March 8. Commissioner Rob Manfred says spring training needs to run at least four weeks–something the players don’t necessarily agree with, by the way, as they say three weeks are adequate–which Manfred argued meant a Feb. 28 deal was essential to the 2022 regular season starting on time.
But if you paid attention to what players said, however, the Feb. 28 deadline was not as firm as Manfred would have you believe–something we noted yesterday–and sure enough negotiations will continue today, beginning this morning and tentatively set to end in the late afternoon. Progress was made yesterday on a variety of topics, but of course the range of agreements depended on your source: some pundits clearly are mimicking the words of owners, while others are mimicking the statements of players and agents. We’re not in the room; generally speaking, it’s good news when the two sides are still talking and have scheduled more talks for today. Being onsite is pretty worthless unless you want to watch Dan Halem shuttle between owners and player reps. Here’s a pretty responsible take from Chelsea Janes on the happenings at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter.
So, as of now, things are on hold for the start of spring training. No, don’t head to camps to watch minor leaguers work out: we’ve received plenty of reports of guards blocking access to camps. There are some camps where workouts can be seen from publicly accessed roads, of course, and MLB teams cannot prevent you from watching any action from a public walkway, trail or roadway. But as of now camps are closed to the public, and MiLB games are not set to launch until March 15-17.