If it wasn’t crunch time for negotiations before, it’s officially hit that time now. Today, MLB officially announced that the start of Spring Training games has been delayed to no earlier than Saturday, March 5. In the statement, they mention that all teams have adopted a policy for full refunds for games not played, and that another negotiation session has been set for Monday and will meet all of next week.
The MLB Players Association also came out with a statement, but they were more blunt in theirs. They said that the report is “false”, and that the league does not have to delay the start of Spring Training. In addition, the teams did not have to lock out the players. This is true, the teams weren’t required to lock out players once the CBA expired, they just chose to do that. The MLBPA did note that they are still committed to working with the league towards a new CBA, though.
Tensions are definitely building, but the two sides are still meeting. As long as the sides continue to meet, hope remains for an on time start to the regular season. However, pressure is mounting as well as games begin to be postponed, and the more time it takes to come to an agreement, the more damage it will do to MLB as a whole.