What you need to know about MLB lockout


The last time Major League Baseball had a lockout was in 1990. In 1990, the lockout started due to upset MLB team owners because they thought that the free agent market was rigged. 

This year, three decades later – the owners and players were unable to meet terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in time, for the current accord had expired. The CBA was trying to find an agreement to preempt a player strike, going into the new season. 

In the days prior to the lockout, many players signed massive contracts in anticipation that contracts would be lowered post-lockout. Corey Seager signed a contract worth $325 million dollars for ten years with the Texas Rangers. Max Scherzer signed for three years in a contract worth $130 million dollars with the New York Mets. These are two of the biggest contracts in MLB history, and they were both signed within 24 hours of one another. 

These players signed also knowing the season may be delayed. Last time there was a lockout in 1990, the season didn’t start on time and they lost games in the season. 

Due to COVID-19, players were already set with some pretty strict restrictions and guidelines to follow with quarantines and mask mandates last year. COVID also hurts the economic side of players and teams. Third tier players are now not getting paid and signed to lower contracts to get a chance. With this issue, many players are struck in the minor leagues and that slows their major league service time. Players are known to despise time in the minor leagues, so this causes more complications. 

Owners believe teams are tanking and losing games on purpose, which limits payrolls. They would like to see a new system to prevent this issue. Currently the MLB has no team salary cap as well, and the smaller market teams believe this is not fair. This is why tanking and losing those games’ purpose happens. One common thing is that teams and players want to see the cycle of rebuilding gone and teams to have more even chances to win. 

As of now, players and owners haven’t come close to reaching a new agreement. In the current situation, players will not get a win-win for them but they may get a new deal or some things that help them out. 

Maybe they will add a Designated Hitter to the National League or maybe a higher luxury threshold and then players could have a quicker route to their free agency. At the end of the day both sides won’t get everything they want, but they will work out something, and whatever that is could shakeup baseball a bit. The players and owners will work toward reaching a new CBA on time for the season and hope toward starting the new season on time.