With MLB and the MLBPA failing to come to an agreement by the league’s 5:00 p.m. deadline, Rob Manfred officially announced that the first two series of the regular season would be cancelled. This means the earliest the Mets would take the field will be April 7 on the road against the Nationals.
The lockout, which was first implemented by the commissioner and the league back on December 2 in order to “jumpstart” the negotiations, will officially lead to missed regular season games for the first time since 1995. The two sides met only sparingly between December 2 and February 21, but negotiations picked up in Florida beginning last week.
The hope was that the deadline of February 28, which Manfred said was the latest a deal could be reached while allowing enough time to start on March 31, would help bring the sides closer to an agreement. Representatives from the players’ and the owners’ sides met on a daily basis, and for a while it seemed that only incremental progress was being made.
Things heated up last night, with MLB and MLBPA meeting well into the night and early morning, though a deal was ultimately not reached. MLB pushed the deadline until 5:00 p.m. today, and the sides reconvened to try and close out what they started. However, the tone shifted noticeably, and the owners and commissioner sent the players what was essentially a “best, final offer”, which the Union voted unanimously against before returning to New York.
It’s unclear where things go from here, but one thing is for certain: Teams will not be playing on March 31.