Last week, instead of delivering a promised counterproposal to the MLBPA, the league’s owners sought federal mediation in the ongoing MLB lockout that has brought the sport to its knees. They knew full well how it would play out, but seemingly hoped it would put them on more solid footing with fans in the PR battle that surrounds this whole debacle.
As expected, the players balked at the offer of federal mediation – and there has been no movement since. US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh offered his assistance to end the freeze on Monday – but I wouldn’t hold your breath on the players being any more receptive to that offer, either.
"“I have spoken to both the MLBPA and MLB about the ongoing contract negotiations and encourage both sides to continue engagement,” Walsh said in a statement. “Like any contract negotiation in any industry, I stand ready to help facilitate productive conversations that result in the best outcome for workers and employers.”"
Meanwhile, league owners will meet this week, from Tuesday to Thursday, and it appears that that long-awaited counteroffer could follow shortly thereafter. At this point, though, an on-time start to spring training is almost certainly out of the question.
Players continue to insist they’re at the table and ready to talk – but this next proposal from the owners could give us a better idea just how chasmic the gap between the two sides is heading deeper into February.
MLB lockout continues to hurt everyone involved – especially the fans
Cubs players haven’t been shy about voicing their displeasure on social media – with new Chicago pitcher Marcus Stroman giving MLB commissioner Rob Manfred a new nickname in a recent post.
The two sides have been inching toward the middle – if you can call it that – and it’s hard to see a dramatic reversal in their pace anytime soon. Which means not only spring training is in jeopardy, but the on-time start of the regular season. So for the second time in three years, we could be looking at a shortened calendar. Good stuff.