MLB believes that player requests to end the lockout will affect teams with fewer resources

TOpenalties hours after triggering the Major League Baseball’s first work stoppage in 26 years, Commissioner Rob Manfred claimed that players’ claims for an eExpansion of free agency and salary arbitration will affect teams with fewer resources.

The lockout was decreed at 12:01 on Thursdayl expire a collective contract that lasted for five years.

Since 1976, players have to comply with six seasons of service in the majors to declare free agents. The players’ guild wants the wait to be five years from the break between 2023 and 2024. The age limit for entering free agency would also be lowered, leaving it at 30.5. The age would drop again – to 29.5 – between 2025 and 2026.

“We already have teams in small markets that suffer to compete”, Manfred said at a news conference at the Texas Rangers stadium, not far from the hotel, where negotiations were unsuccessful. “Reducing the control time of the players would make it more difficult for them to compete. It is a bad thing for fans of those markets. The most negative reactions we have occur when a player leaves through free agency. We don’t think going forward and expediting it (free agency) is a good thing. “

It’s about the ninth stoppage of professional baseball activities in North America, jeopardizing the start of spring training on February 16 and the opening of the regular season on March 31.

“The players association, as is its right, presented a series of very aggressive proposals in May, and he has refused to compromise on the gist of those proposals, “Manfred said.”Things like a shortened reserve period, a $ 100 million cut in revenue share, and salary arbitration for players in a second year are bad for baseball. bad for the fans and bad for the competitive balance. “

An agreement would need to be reached before mid-March in order to have a full regular season. “Guessing on deadlines right now is not productive,” Manfred said. “I will not do it”.

The head of the players union, Tony Clark, called a press conference later.

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