Rob Manfred cancels first 2 series of season after MLBPA rejects final offer
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday announced that the first two series of the regular season will be canceled after the MLBPA rejected the league’s final offer.
Manfred added that the earliest an agreement could be made would be on Thursday.
The Arizona Diamondbacks were slated to take on the Brewers in Milwaukee to open up the season on March 31, followed by the Dodgers in Los Angeles — six games in a seven-day span.
With an 162-game schedule no longer happening, the earliest Opening Day could be for the D-backs is on April 7 against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field.
The Major League Baseball Players Association responded to the commissioner less than an hour later:
Statement from the Major League Baseball Players Association: pic.twitter.com/rmpciPsQm4
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) March 1, 2022
Manfred also released a letter to MLB fans, which read similarly to his speech that officially canceled the original 2022 Opening Day date of March 31.
The announcement comes after a ninth straight day of negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA.
MLB extended its deadline to Tuesday at 5 p.m. EST after a marathon of 13 bargaining sessions over 16.5 hours produced progress toward a labor deal but left the sides still far apart.
Monday was originally picked as the original deadline because MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says at least 28 days of training are needed before the season starts. The union has not said whether it agrees, and baseball has shortened spring training to as few as three weeks in the past.
Representatives for the league and the MLBPA paused exchanging formal proposals on Sunday and instead held a series of small meetings probing for what it would take to reach a deal.
Players and owners did not meet directly.
Baseball’s ninth work stoppage started Dec. 2. Spring training games were to have begun Saturday and already have been canceled through March 7.
Players would lose $20.5 million in salary for each day of the season that is canceled, according to a study by The Associated Press, and the 30 teams would lose large sums that are harder to pin down.
Players and teams entered deadline day far apart on many key issues and unresolved on others. The most contentious proposals involved luxury tax thresholds and rates, the size of a new bonus pool for pre-arbitration players, minimum salaries, salary arbitration eligibility and the union’s desire to change the club revenue sharing formula.
In addition, MLB has tied the elimination of direct free-agent compensation to players agreeing to higher luxury tax rates and still wants to expand the playoffs to 14 teams rather than the union’s preference for 12. MLB also has kept its proposal for an international amateur draft on the table.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.