MLB calls off first week of spring training games due to player lockout
Major League Baseball announced in a release on Friday that it would be calling off the first week of spring training games, citing the lack of a collective bargaining agreement with Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA).
MLB announced in early December that it would be imposing a lockout against the league’s players after 26 years of labor peace. Since then, MLB and the players association have met six times, USA Today reported.
Meanwhile, the regular season is expected to start on March 31, but MLB has conveyed to players that a deal must be struck by Feb. 28, or the lockout could affect the regular season schedule, according to the newspaper.
“We are committed to reaching an agreement that is fair to each side. On Monday, members of the owners’ bargaining committee will join an in-person meeting with the Players Association and remain every day next week to negotiate and work hard towards starting the season on time,” MLB said, according to USA Today.
However, the players association blasted the league’s decision to call off the first week of spring training games, saying the league is required to do no such thing.
“MLB announced today that it ‘must’ postpone the start of spring training games. This is false. Nothing requires the league to delay the start of spring training, much like nothing required the league’s decision to implement the lockout in the first place,” the MLBPA said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Despite these decisions by the league, Players remain committed to the negotiating process.”
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh earlier this month said he had spoken with both MLB and the MLBPA, adding that “I stand ready to help facilitate productive conversations that result in the best outcome for workers and employers.”
The Hill has reached out to MLB for comment.