Representatives from the owners and the MLB Players Association met today for an extended series of talks, a day in advance of the league’s self-imposed deadline to avoid the cancellation of regular-season games. More negotiations are scheduled for tomorrow, following multiple sessions today that took place over almost a six-hour time period.
This marks the seventh consecutive days of negotiations between the two sides, as the clock continues to tick towards both the owners’ February 28 deadline and the start of the regular season on March 31. Some Spring Training games have already been canceled by the lockout, and if a new collective bargaining agreement was reached by tomorrow, teams would face a whirlwind of a month consisting of both an abbreviated Spring Training, and essentially three months of lost offseason business crammed into roughly a four-week window.
Given both the lack of progress and some open frustration emerging during yesterday’s talks, it seems like a longshot that a new CBA will actually be struck by tomorrow. As Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post notes, the unofficial nature of the owners’ February 28 deadline means that it could be pushed back if there is actual movement towards an agreement, and the players are likely to make such a case if some noteworthy progress is made tomorrow.
A league official told multiple reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Michael Silverman) that today’s talks were “productive,” as the two sides discussed both core economic issues and other CBA items not directly related to economics. However, the league and the MLBPA are still “far apart” on many of these issues, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter links), and today’s talks included “a lot of hypotheticals” under discussion and no actual proposals from either side.
More to come….