Major League Baseball’s self-imposed deadline turned out to be not much a deadline at all. Monday’s marathon bargaining sessions in Florida did not produce a deal between players and owners, but enough progress was made that talks will continue Tuesday.
There will be no deal on a new collective-bargaining agreement in this early hour, sources tell ESPN. Enough progress was made that MLB and the MLBPA will meet again later today in hopes of finalizing one. Deadline to miss regular-season games has been moved to 5 p.m. today.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 1, 2022
Two sides continue talking and have made definite progress. But large gaps remain in major areas, sources tell @TheAthletic. Parties now calling it a night.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 1, 2022
That’s 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, or 2 p.m. PT, after over 16 hours of bargaining on Monday, and on the east coast, into Tuesday.
Monday, the last day of February and the 89th day of the league-imposed lockout, was the eighth straight day of meetings between players and owners at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, the spring training home of the Cardinals and Marlins. Five days earlier, the league set a deadline of February 28 for an agreement, after which MLB would start canceling regular season games.
“A deadline is a deadline,” an MLB spokesperson told reporters on scene in Florida last Wednesday.
The owners have controlled the timing of the offseason, beginning with locking out the players minutes after the previous CBA expired on December 1, then waiting 43 days to make an offer.
Players and owners only had six days of bargaining sessions during the first 11 weeks of the lockout, before the last eight days of bargaining in Florida. Entering Monday, there wasn’t much hope for an agreement, with early talks in the day described as “threatening.”
Talks progressed throughout the day and into the night, such that both sides met for at least 13 separate times, per various reporters on site.
With so many meetings, positions changed throughout the day. We’ll dive more into the details on Tuesday, but for now this is a decent summary.
Union still believes sides are apart on luxury tax, minimum salaries and the bonus pool. Pretty clear at this point both sides are trying to get this done, which is the best news.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 1, 2022
Correction: MLB prearb bonus pool is at $25 million, not $20 million.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 1, 2022
Union indicated a belief that MLB showed a willingness to get a deal today. All progress fluid because agreements contingent on all the pieces falling into place. But 12-team playoff seems doable for both sides at the moment. All of this is fragile.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 1, 2022
With the caveat that Tuesday’s deadline, like Monday’s could easily be moved, the threat of canceling regular season games still remains, even if it doesn’t feel as dire as on Monday morning.
Opening day is scheduled for March 31. The Dodgers are slated to begin the season with a week-long homestand, including four games against the Rockies and three with the Diamondbacks.