GGreater Leagues canceled the first week of preseason games on Friday until March 4, the first time that an alteration caused by the bosses stoppage is publicly recognized.
The announcement comes during the 79th day of the strike and a day after a dialogue on economic issues between the Major League board and the Major League Baseball Players Union will last just 15 minutes.
Negotiators will resume talks on economic issues on Monday. Major League Baseball indicated that members of the negotiating committee of the team owners will attend the session, the seventh for the central issues of the dispute that began with the lockout on December 2
Spring training was supposed to start this week and the exhibition game schedule was supposed to start on Feb. 26. There were 16 games scheduled for that day, including a matchup between the World Series champion Atlanta Braves and Boston in Florida and the Cleveland Guardians against Cincinnati in Arizona.
“We regret that, without a collective contract agreement at the moment, we must postpone the start of the camps until no earlier than Saturday, March 5,” MLB said in a statement. “All 30 teams are united in their strong desire to bring players back to the field and fans to the stands.”
MLB has told the union that it believes Feb. 28 is the latest possible date to reach a deal that would allow the season to start on time. The union did not respond to MLB on whether it agrees with the date or believes there is more time.
The Players Union is in discussions to determine if any players will attend the next session.
Most of the time, owners and players have held the meetings by Zoom Colorado Rockies CEO Dick Monfort, chairman of the owners’ labor policy committee and free agent reliever Andrew Miller attended the meeting on Jan. 24, the first in person during the stoppage.