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Braves News: Owners institute lockout

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A long cold winter has arrived.

Dodgers Opening Postponed due to cornoavirus Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Officials from MLB and the MLBPA have been in Dallas this week working on a new CBA. The old deal expired Wednesday night at 11:59 p.m. ET and we appear to be headed towards a lockout after representatives from both sides ended talks after just seven minutes of negotiations Wednesday afternoon. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that league officials informed the union that no further talks would happen Wednesday.

After three days of negotiations, little to no progress was made. The sides remain split on key economic issues. Per Passan, the league offered to increase the competitive-balance-tax from $210 million to $214 million and later to $220 million. The union was asking for a CBT of $245 million and is also looking to shorten the time it takes for a player to reach free agency which to this point has been a non-starter for the league.

As expected, the owners officially instituted a lockout at midnight with commissioner Rob Manfred releasing a letter to fans via MLB.com. Manfred took an accusatory tone blaming the Players Association for taking a strategy of confrontation over compromise.

We have had challenges before with respect to making labor agreements and have overcome those challenges every single time during my tenure. Regrettably, it appears the Players Association came to the bargaining table with a strategy of confrontation over compromise. They never wavered from collectively the most extreme set of proposals in their history, including significant cuts to the revenue-sharing system, a weakening of the competitive balance tax, and shortening the period of time that players play for their teams. All of these changes would make our game less competitive, not more.

Additionally, the league maintains that the lockout was a necessary step to spur negotiations along.

The MLBPA responded a short time later calling the lockdown a “dramatic measure” while pointing out that “it was the owners’ choice” to pressure the Players into relinquishing rights and benefits.

So, the first work-stoppage in 26 years is here. Buckle up because it could be a long one.

I took a closer look at what to expect from a lockout earlier this week but just to recap. The offseason will be frozen. There will be no more talks between teams and players and things like arbitration and the Rule 5 Draft will be postponed until a deal is reached. Players will be unable to access team facilities which means injured players like Charlie Morton, Mike Soroka and Ronald Acuña Jr. will have to rehab elsewhere.

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