The current Major League Baseball free agency period features discussions that are more important than which players are switching teams. With the MLB’s collective bargaining agreement coming to an end on December 1st, the possibility of a lockout still looms.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, commissioner Rob Manfred addressed these concerns. He referenced the lockout from 1994 that led to the cancelation of the World Series and explained that the steps to avoid repeating history is working something out before the season begins.
Labor strife was the main focus of owners, team presidents and league executives who met less than two weeks before the deal expires — and with little progress made toward a new one. While the league and MLB Players Association have met consistently — they had a bargaining session Wednesday, Manfred said, and are scheduled for another Friday — they remain far apart from an agreement, having made limited progress on core economic issues.
“We understand, I understand, that time is becoming an issue,” Manfred said. “That’s a challenge. We’ve had challenges with respect to making labor agreements before, and we got a pretty good track record of overcoming those challenges. I can tell you from the clubs’ perspective, we’re committed to continuing to offer proposals and suggestions in an effort to get to an agreement before December 1.”
The potential lockout hasn’t completely halted free agency, as some teams have already brought in some big names. The Detroit Tigers signed starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, formerly of the Boston Red Sox, to a big contract while the Los Angeles Angels lured starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard away from the New York Mets.