Phillies

What you need to know about MLB lockout from a Phillies perspective

Phillies

MLB and the players' union were unable to reach a deal before the Collective Bargaining Agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday and now baseball has its first lockout since 1990.

Let's tackle the important questions.

What happens now?

A whole lot of nothing. During the lockout, teams and players cannot communicate in any form. Teams cannot comment on players. Players on 40-man rosters cannot work out at their team's facility. From a Phillies perspective, this could impact players like J.T. Realmuto and Alec Bohm, who maintain residences in Clearwater. They won't be able to work out at the Phillies' spring training complex.

Members of teams' baseball operations departments cannot communicate with the media.

Teams cannot use a player's name, image or likeness. The Phillies took down their MV3 banner at Citizens Bank Park, and all team roster pages at MLB's official site show silhouettes rather than player headshots.

No more roster moves?

There can be no major-league transactions during the lockout. That means no signing of free agents, no trades, no contract extensions, no waiver claims, no cuts. Teams can discuss trades with one another but nothing can be finalized until after the lockout.

The Winter Meetings have been canceled and the major-league portion of the Rule 5 draft is postponed indefinitely.

The suspension of roster moves is why so many huge signings took place in the week leading up to the lockout. The Phillies were able to complete two free-agent deals Wednesday for reliever Corey Knebel and utilityman Johan Camargo.

 

When might the lockout end?

There's a lot of time before spring training, much less the 2022 regular season.

"We are still currently planning for spring training to start on time and for a full 2022 season without disruption and will spend every day working around the clock to achieve that goal," the league said in a statement.

It's unclear how long this might last but it could go until late-January or February when camps are on the brink of opening. Deadlines are known to spur action and there was no deadline this week, thus no real urgency for either side to make concessions to finalize a new CBA. Players do not get paid during the offseason anyway so they are not missing out on paychecks yet.

Why are the league and players so far apart?

Both sides want more in the new CBA. The players' association wants players to reach arbitration faster than three years and wants players to reach free agency earlier in their career to maximize earnings. They also are interested in eliminating tanking and service time manipulation that delays a player's call-up for financial reasons.

The league wants an expanded playoff field of 14 teams and it's no surprise with how much revenue is derived from the postseason. According to ESPN, the players were willing to agree to a 12-team field. This is a negotiating chip for the players given how much extra money additional playoff games would produce for the league.

The players' union also wants the luxury tax threshold to increase. Per ESPN, the league offered to increase the threshold from $210 million to $214 million but that was still more than $30 million less than the players' proposal.

There are other issues for the sides to discuss such as pace of play and the universal DH, but make no mistake, this is first and foremost about finances.

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