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Report: MLB Players 'Briefly Discussed' Spring Training Boycott

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2018

A baseball sits on the field near a part of a New York Yankees logo before a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees in New York on Sunday, May 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)
Peter Morgan/Associated Press

MLB players last week reportedly "briefly discussed" boycotting the start of spring training, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

Olney added a boycott is "not currently an option under any serious consideration."

The MLBPA later issued a statement denying that a boycott had even been considered, calling the report "false":

#MLBPA @MLB_PLAYERS

#MLBPA statement regarding recent reports of a spring training “boycott”... https://t.co/IHTrVFJRvP

On Friday, MLB agent Brodie Van Wagenen tweeted about the possibility of players boycotting spring training because of a lack of movement on the free-agent market.

Regarding a boycott, Van Wagenen wrote: "There is a rising tide among players for radical change. A fight is brewing. And it may begin with one, maybe two, and perhaps 1,200 willing to follow. A boycott of spring training may be a starting point, if behavior doesn't change."

While a handful of big-name free agents have signed, several high-profile players are still looking for a home with spring training less than two weeks away.

Among them are starting pitchers Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish, right fielder J.D. Martinez, first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas.

During a recent appearance on MLB Network Radio (h/t MassLive.com's Jen McCaffrey), MLB agent Scott Boras took issue with teams creating a "non-competitive dynamic" by sitting out free agency.

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Pitchers and catchers are set to report to spring training Feb. 12-14, followed by position players a few days later. By Feb. 21, every team will have had its first full-squad workout in preparation for the 2018 season.

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