The MLB appears headed to its first work stoppage in 26 years, the Associated Press reported.
Negotiations between the league and its player union began last spring, however neither side believes the other has made proposals that would make a deal possible in the coming weeks.
The current five-year contract expires on Dec 1. A work stoppage could lead to the freezing of the free-agent market, threaten the start of spring training in February, and lead teams to hold off on new contracts with high-paid players, according to the AP.
“I have yet to have the conversation yet with what potentials, acknowledging that we have budget commitments already in play and depending on how the new collective bargaining agreement works out over the course of time, hopefully sooner than later,” New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement.
Clubs have proposed eliminating salary arbitration, lowering the luxury tax threshold, setting a payroll floor, and allowing players to become free agents in the offseason after they turn 29 and a half years old, replacing the six-season guidelines in place since 1976, the AP reported.
The league may attempt a signing freeze at the start of the lockout, or the marketplace may halt on its own.
Agents have told the AP they haven’t received any guidance from the player’s union, with some bracing for a two-week scramble to sign free agents in March 2022 or later, the AP noted.