Are you a Chicago Cubs fan worried about the CBA talks? Yeah, me too.

If you’re like me – a Chicago Cubs fan concerned about the likelihood of a lockout in less than two weeks, then the latest news won’t make you feel a lot better.The looming CBA negotiations came more into public view as Rob Manfred revealed that he has thoughts.

“It’s about avoiding doing damage to the season,” Manfred said.

The owners have manipulated events to their liking, so that the players don’t have the option of an in-season strike, which reduces their leverage until and unless they appear willing to postpone actual regular season games.

Ownership might even like that, as long as they can add an extra round to the postseason, NHL-style. Perhaps they can even be inclusive enough that the modern-day Cubs could get into the tournament – in other words, nearly everybody qualifies.

Evan Drellich, in The Athletic (subscription required), said “It’s indeed possible that a lockout brings an agreement quicker than one would arrive without one. It ratchets up the pressure on both sides.”

He added such a move creates ill feelings, as well. Indeed Drellich has been the source of final wisdom on this subject for quite some time.

It’s been obvious for awhile now that a lockout was coming to herald the real beginning of the CBA talks. Manfred and his people want to face Bruce Meyer and his people, at high noon in the town square. They want to make changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and mainly ones favorable to the profit margin, if not the game itself.

Buckle up, Chicago Cubs fans – we could be in for a battle with the CBA

Recently they’ve unveiled a plan to house most minor leaguers, which is a huge step in the right direction, but their compensatory plans leave a lot to be desired. Indeed they would be happy to continue with the same basic system, probably with the same service-time issue that became a dividing line between the Cubs and their star third baseman Kris Bryant, and involving, as of the last proposal, a remuneration system based on Fangraphs’ fWar. But that incident has our Cubs right in the middle of things.

Some kind of system of comparison for compensatory purposes would seem a capital idea… but that isn’t it. Neither is bWar, Baseball Reference’s base stat. Teams doubtless have their proprietary data, but they’re not going to be sharing that.

Nathaniel Grow from Fangraphs explains what they’ll be talking about, starting Dec 1. Let’s hope that they find some areas of agreement – the sides seem very far apart right now, and both are forgetting the third side – the fans, whose average age is 57 and steadily growing more disenchanted with these goings-on.

“… if the league and the union can manage to conduct negotiations without creating a public spectacle, maybe they can strike a deal before the start of spring training.” — Peter Abraham.

Maybe. Manfred thinks clubs will conduct business as usual while this negotiation goes on. And they might, but the situation is fluid, and, as always, we await developments. It’s all about the money, and it’s lawyers all the way down.