Major League Baseball will begin canceling regular season games if they do not reach a new labor agreement with the players union by Monday, according to multiple reports.
Without an agreement by Monday, the season will not be a full 162 games.
Yahoo! Sports' Hannah Keyser quoted an MLB spokesperson as saying, “A deadline is a deadline."
MLB, per the reports, also said players will not be paid their full salaries if games are canceled. However, that could yet be subject to negotiation or legal action, depending on where the league's ongoing labor battle heads.
MLB's lockout is nearing its fourth month and the league has shown no willingness to lift it. Doing so would allow spring training and the regular season to start but open the door for a players strike.
The league and union met Wednesday in Florida — the first time they've met three straight days since the lockout began — but remain far apart on negotiations for a new labor deal.
The league has already postponed the first week of spring training games amid the delay to big-league camps opening.
MLB recently set Monday as the deadline for an agreement in order to start the regular season on time as scheduled March 31.
Previously, commissioner Rob Manfred said MLB estimated needing four weeks of spring training before starting the season once a labor deal is reached. He expressed hope the two sides would reach a deal in time for the scheduled openers.
"I am an optimist, and I believe we will have an agreement in time to play our regular schedule," Manfred told reporters earlier this month.
Based on Wednesday's news, his reasons for optimism may be waning.