Deal or no deal: MLB edition


Nina Luangrath

Washington Nationals went up against the Colorado Rockies at Nationals Park, Washington D.C., on April 14, 2018, when baseball stands boomed with spectators.

Nina Luangrath, Staff Writer

Throughout the world, stadiums are empty, trade details have been delayed and televisions have been lacking what should be the closing of Spring Training, leaving baseball fans everywhere wondering what is going on.

As of Dec. 4, 2021, Major League Baseball (MLB) has been in a lockout; the first one since the player’s lockout of ‘94-95. Essentially, the MLB and MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association) came up short on Collective Bargaining Agreement, so the owners of major league teams unanimously decided to force a work stoppage for all of baseball, even though they are the ones at fault.

“The lockout itself is ridiculous,” said junior Joshua Elliston. “The people of power in MLB have shown they only really care about two things: money and being unresponsive to any positive change being put on the table.”

The solution is clear. The owners and players must agree on a plan to raise salaries, but at least half of that increased money should come from the owner’s revenue. Players just do not want to watch their revenues shrunk away while they work so hard in and out of season.

This lack of understanding from the MLB really sheds light on the league’s younger players. 

According to social media manager and writer for Tower, Matthias Jaylen Sandoval, “Younger players in the league aren’t eligible for salary arbitration till after their first three seasons in the league and aren’t allowed to hit free agency, where they can sign to any team they want, until after their sixth season.”

This leads to younger players unable to make nearly as much money on teams as they could in free agency. 

However, with frequent visits, both sides met to make progress. 

Over a Zoom meeting on Jan. 13, 2022, the long awaited first meeting of the MLB took place where the league presented an offer that included paying players with two to three years service via a formula, to reward teams that bring up top prospects with extra draft picks and a very minor and insignificant tweak to its established draft lottery. To no one’s surprise, players did not gravitate towards this solution. They met again in person the next day. 

After another meeting on Valentine’s Day, there was absolutely no sign of love between the two unions as there was still no movement closer to a deal. Spring Training was also meant to begin this week, disappointing many, including myself. 

At this point all Spring Training has been postponed to the beginning of March. After a bit of back and forth tension with MLBPA players unanimously declining yet another proposal from the MLB, another two weeks of Spring Training was postponed. 

Finally, the MLB has decided as of March 10, 2022 to get their act together, and both parties reached a tentative agreement on a new labor deal.

Now in a perfect world, this labor deal would allow for players to hit free agency within about four years rather than six to allow them to make as much money as they can. If the MLB also agreed that years spent by players in the minor league would count towards years before free agency, the same result would appear. Maybe some more adjustments could be made to this new deal, a temporary deal. MLB take notes, before you lose much more in seasons upcoming.

After 99 days, baseball is finally back and thank goodness for it. Younger players will receive the money they deserve, an influx of rule changes are coming as well as an international draft, but most importantly, players and baseball fans alike are looking forward to this return to normalcy.