MLB Spring Training Games Won't Start Before March 8 amid CBA Talks

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 26, 2022

Dusk falls over Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., just after MLB labor talks recessed for the night, Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. Baseball labor negotiations moved to the spring training ballpark from New York as players and owners join the talks, which enter a more intensive phase with perhaps a week left to salvage opening day on March 31. (AP Photo/Ron Blum)
AP Photo/Ron Blum

Major League Baseball spring training games will not start before March 8 amid ongoing collective bargaining agreement talks between MLB and the MLBPA.

Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported the latest news:

Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich

Major League Baseball has cancelled three more days of spring training games: March 5, 6, 7, spokesman says. The earliest spring training games can start, by MLB’s scheduling, is March 8. Of course, that’s contingent on getting a deal done by then, so more games could be canceled

The report comes after an MLB spokesperson said Wednesday that some regular-season games will be canceled if MLB and MLBPA don't agree to a new CBA by Monday.

Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich

MLB spokesperson’s full statement: “A deadline is a deadline. Missed games are missed games. Salary will not be paid for those games.”

MLB locked out the players on Dec. 2 after the previous CBA expired without a new one in place. The league had already announced that the start of spring training games had been postponed until March 5.

The regular season is currently scheduled to start on March 31 with all 30 teams in action.

As far as Friday's proceedings went, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred met with MLBPA executive director Tony Clark in a one-on-one meeting, per ESPN's Jesse Rogers.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today provided word from an MLB spokesperson:

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale

MLB spokesman on the meeting between Rob Manfred and Tony Clark: ‘He had a good conversation….focused on how to move the process forward.’’ It was the first time they talked in person since the lockout.

The specifics of that conversation are unknown, but MLB and MLBPA are set to meet again Saturday.

Earlier Friday, Rogers reported MLB and MLBPA had made progress on issues related to the draft. Joel Sherman of the New York Post added more insight:

Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

There were discusions on other issues today, but the only proposals made were about draft order/lottery. Sides will recovene tomorrow around noon.

Cactus and Grapefruit League games were scheduled to begin Saturday. Instead, the lockout continues as MLB and MLBPA continue to work toward a new deal.