MLB implements lockout upon expiration of Collective Bargaining Agreement

Jul 13, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; MLB Comissioner of Baseball Robert Manfred walks on the field after the 2021 MLB All Star Game at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The ninth work stoppage in the history of Major League Baseball is underway.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the Players Association expired at 10 p.m. MT on Wednesday, and the official result is a lockout, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The two sides met earlier on Wednesday in hopes of at least making progress, but the talks lasted a whole seven minutes, per Passan.

Postseason expansion, revenue sharing, luxury tax threshold, and salary floor are among the many issues on which the two sides remain far apart. And while the lockout is in place, transactions–as well as communication between injured players and training staffs, club-operated mental health services–will be on hiatus.

The Colorado Rockies–whose owner, Dick Monfort, is chair of MLB’s labor committee and, thus, plays a large part in the discourse between the two sides–weren’t able to squeeze in any trades or major league free-agent signings prior to the looming transaction freeze. The Rockies did, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, decide to tender a contract to every pre-arb and arbitration-eligible player on their 40-man roster, ensuring borderline players such as Garrett Hampson, Tyler Kinley, and Raimel Tapia remain on the club through the lockout and beyond.

As far as the league as a whole is concerned, the lockout will presumably force a postponement or cancellation the Winter Meetings, which are supposed to take place from Dec. 6-9. The Rule 5 Draft falls during that period, as well, and as such is likely to be paused. If the two sides are unable to come to an agreement into January, the process of arbitration could be halted. At that point, an on-time start of spring training would be a real concern.

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