After a 16-hour bargaining session that dragged into the early hours of the morning, Major League Baseball players and owners have reportedly made progress toward a deal that would end the lockout and allow the regular season to start on time.
Nearly three months after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced a lockout due to the expiration of the old collective bargaining agreement, the two sides found themselves facing a league-imposed deadline to reach a deal. MLB insisted regular-season games would be canceled if a new CBA wasn’t agreed to by the end of Monday (Feb. 28).
Technically, that deadline passed at midnight. But the talks didn’t end there. In fact, the 12th meeting between the two sides since this session began at 10 a.m. Monday lasted 40 minutes and ended around 1:50 a.m. Tuesday.
After meeting No. 13 at 2:10 a.m., the two sides called it a night, but reportedly agreed to extend the league’s deadline to 5 p.m. If a deal can be reached by then, the season could start on time.
It took more than 40 days into the lockout for negotiations to begin, even though MLB’s justification for imposing it was to speed up the process. Then, for several weeks, the owners and players met only sporadically, often with several days in between.
Manfred said during a press conference earlier this month that players would need at least three -- but ideally four -- weeks of spring training to prepare for the regular season. As a result, owners warned they were willing to cancel up to a month’s worth of games, if necessary, to reach a deal to their liking.
Players and owners are expected to resume negotiations Tuesday morning in hopes of building on this progress and reaching a deal, according to reports.