MLB Lockout is Now Over

Jocelyn Gonzalez, Writer

As of March 10, 2022, Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) have officially ended the 2021-22 season lockout, which took place for 99 days. The lockout first started on December 2, 2021 when the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expired and there was no new deal between the owners and players. The league anticipated a deal by February 28, 2022 so there would not be games canceled, however the agreement was not met until March 10, 2022. This lockout was the first work stoppage since the 1994-95 players strike which canceled 938 games and the entire 1994 postseason. The last MLB lockout was in 1990 with no games canceled but did push back the season a week later. This lockout also marks the second longest work stoppage in MLB history..

 

Baseball fans, like Gissell Alvarado, 9, and Melanie Avila, 9, are thrilled to receive this exciting news as there were many negotiations going on. A full baseball season – including 162 games –  is guaranteed which begins on April 7, 2022 which is a week later than the original Opening Day date. 

 

“As a baseball fan, it feels really good to know that they are going to play,” Alvarado states. “I think, personally, there was much doubt that there was going to be a season but it feels good that they came to a conclusion that we are going to have baseball.”

 

“I am excited for Opening Day,” Avila reveals. “It’s a bit sad that it was postponed to April but at least it is not later.” 

 

Due to not coming to a quick agreement, spring training has been delayed as they were supposed to start on February 26, 2022. Spring training is currently in session as players are now reporting to spring training. With a few days away from Opening Day and having spring training delayed and shortened, will the players be able to play to the best of their ability? Well, some such as Briana Martinez, 11, believes that there will be no major issue affected in the players’ ability to play throughout the season due to the circumstances. 

 

“I don’t think [their playing ability will be affected] because many of the players can bounce back fairly easily (like when they get injured and such),” Martinez claims. “It may impact them mentally but I’m sure they’re okay physically.”

 

According to ESPN, “twenty-six of the 38 union leaders voted in favor of a five-year CBA that saw its members make significant gains with regard to minimum salaries and the competitive balance tax threshold, among other areas. The 30 team owners ratified the deal by a unanimous vote, according to the league, finalizing a CBA that provided them with an expanded postseason field and the ability to place advertisements on uniforms”. With this new CBA, “minimum salaries will begin at $700,000 in 2022 — an unprecedented 23% increase from the prior year — and rise to $780,000 for the final year in 2026. The competitive balance threshold, which taxes big-spending teams that surpass preestablished limits, will be set at $230 million in 2022 — a near 10% increase from last year — and reach $244 million by 2026. A $50 million player pool to reward pre-arbitration players who excel will also be incorporated”. There will be other changes that the CBA will include. 

 

This lockout for some baseball fans was futile. They wished that the MLB regular season started this month, as regularly, however they find that this lockout might have been a little break for the players to spend. 

 

“I thought the lockout was a bit unnecessary,” Avila said. “But [it was] also good for the players just to get a little break.”

 

“It wasn’t at all necessary. The board didn’t need to postpone the decisions for this upcoming season for so long,” Martinez points out. “Lots of players were traded due to budget cuts, including my favorite player Corey Seager, so it was very unfortunate to many other fans. I’m just grateful everything is over.”

 

Despite the criticism the lockout has been given and to the MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, MLB will have its full regular season play and many baseball fans are relieved.