MLB Lockout Threatening to Postpone Upcoming Season

MLB Lockout Threatening to Postpone Upcoming Season

Gus Walker, Writer

One month after the Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series, Major League Baseball entered a lockout. MLB owners and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) have disagreed on signing a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), practically postponing any negotiations or signings between organizations and free agents.

MLB has seen its revenue and TV ratings decrease in the last decade, and a potential delay to the season will not help. The lockout is the first work stoppage in baseball since the 1994-95 players strike, also due to the expiration of the CBA, which ultimately hurt baseball for the long run. Before the 232 day lockout in 1994-95, the MLB was the most popular sport across America, but due to the work stoppage, other sports took control of the popularity, leaving baseball in the dust, and frankly, never recovered, according to Maury Brown of Forbes .

Because of the work stoppage, major league players are not allowed to promote themselves or work out at organizational club facilities, and MLB teams cannot trade or inquire players due to the transaction freeze implemented by the league. Players can play in other leagues such as the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization), the Dominican Winter League, or Nippon Profession Baseball (NPB) in Japan.

Although a lockout is not ideal, baseball saw one of the most entertaining off-seasons before the lockout began. Because free agents did not want to wait until after the lockout to find a team, many decided to sign as soon as the 2021 season ended, making big free agent signings common. Teams did also not hesitate to spend big money. In 48-hours, the Texas Rangers spent a total of $500 Million on free agents to rebuild their team. Not only did the Rangers spend millions, but many other teams across the league were also aggressive in the free-agent market because of the lurking threat of the work stoppage.

Baseball fans have become restless and anxious, wondering if the highly anticipated 2022 season will begin on time. During the holidays, there were no talks between the MLB and MLBPA, slowing the process of reaching a new agreement, but recent talks have heated up. Even though a deal has not been made, there is optimism for baseball fans.