MLB Spring Training matches won’t start until at least March 18th, League announce on its website. The show’s play had previously been canceled until March 11th.
It’s not a surprising delay, because it’s unlikely that there will be a new collective bargaining agreement in place to start Spring Training games sooner. It seems likely that there will be at least a week between the completion of the new CBA and the start of the Spring Training Games. Teams will still need some time to do the rest of their informal work. Players will need at least a few days to inform the camps before diving into the gameplay.
MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halim and MLB lead negotiator Bruce Meyer informally met yesterday, but MLB Network’s John Heyman wrote (facebook link) that sitting “offered little in the way of progress”. The League and Players Association do not have any further talks scheduled at the moment – despite Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal chirp This morning the MLBPA is currently preparing a counteroffer to the MLB’s latest proposal. Talks are expected to resume sometime soon, and we hope that the union will announce its readiness discuss again A 14-team play-off can start negotiations.
A bigger concern for most people than beginning spring training is when the regular season will start. The league has so far canceled the first two series of the regular season, with the league’s website listing April 7 as the date of the first scheduled competitions. That will likely be delayed soon, too, with Commissioner Rob Manfred indicating he wants a four-week spring training period (from the start of player reports, not from the start of the first spring training game). MLB announced the cancellation of its scheduled March 31 opening day 30 days in advance. There are 34 days until April 7.
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