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MLB removes more games from the schedule through April 14

Derek Montilla Avatar
March 10, 2022

On Wednesday — despite reports that owners and the Players Association were closer than ever to a new collective bargaining agreement — MLB announced they would be removing another week of games from the schedule through April 14.

This is the second wave of cancellations by Major League Baseball affecting regular-season games, but the wording from commissioner Rob Manfred still leaves the door open for a 162-game season.

“In a last-ditch effort to preserve a 162-game season, this week we have made good-faith proposals that address the specific concerns voiced by the MLBPA and would have allowed the players to return to the field immediately,” Manfred said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The Clubs went to extraordinary lengths to meet the substantial demands of the MLBPA. On the key economic issues that have posed stumbling blocks, the Clubs proposed ways to bridge gaps to preserve a full schedule. Regrettably, after our second late-night bargaining session in a week, we remain without a deal.

“Because of the logistical realities of the calendar, another two series are being removed from the schedule, meaning that Opening Day is postponed until April 14th. We worked hard to reach an agreement and offered a fair deal with significant improvements for the players and our fans. I am saddened by this situation’s continued impact on our game and all those who are a part of it, especially our loyal fans.

“We have the utmost respect for our players and hope they will ultimately choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered.”

Much like the first two series of the season that were cancelled but were reportedly going to be made up if a deal was reached this week, the statement from Manfred does allude to the possibility of this next wave of games still being made up.

The Players Association responded with a statement of their own.

The two sides remain in communication, but the most recent hurdle was the inclusion of an international draft by MLB. The Players Association has been against the international draft since the beginning, but the owners are now making it part of their final proposal. In turn, owners proposed eliminating qualifying offers, something the PA has been seeking. MLB gave the PA three options: eliminate the qualifying offer and create an international draft, qualifying offers remain with no international draft, or eliminate the qualifying offer now but agree to discuss an international draft later.

That third option came with strings attached. The draft would need to be implemented this off-season — by November 15, 2022 — or the owners can negotiate a new CBA in 2024 and we can live through this nightmare all over again.

The Players rejected all three initial options, but as of Thursday morning that now appears to be resolved. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the parties will have until July 25 to agree on a fair international draft. If no deal is made by that date, qualifying offers will remain and the international draft will be tabled until the next CBA.

MLBPA executive board member and former D-back Max Scherzer made his feelings about the owners slipping in additional stipulations known on social media.

While the international draft may be resolved for now, there are still several remaining issues between the two parties. Pre-arbitration bonus pool currently has the biggest gap, with minimum salary increase and competitive balance tax accounting being closer but still not resolved. There are also details to be worked out with the amateur draft bonus pool growth and structure, per Evan Drellich of The Athletic.

As the lockout drags on, we continue to see Opening Day for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the rest of MLB move further away. Barring any further cancellations, the D-backs will now open their season on April 15 in New York against Scherzer and the Mets on Jackie Robinson Day. Games missed against the Brewers, Dodgers, Padres, and Astros could all still be made up at a later time as doubleheaders added to the schedule.

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