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MLB lock is still likely to be MLBPA, the league is said to hold last minute talks

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At 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the baseball team’s Collective Bargaining Agreement — the contract that allows MLB and the MLB Players Association to conduct business — will expire, at which point The owner is expected to lock the player. This would be baseball’s first shutdown since the 1994-95 players’ strike. Here’s everything you need to know about the impending lockdown.

MLB and the MLBPA are holding last-minute sessions this week in Texas, and on Monday, the league once again proposed an expanded format of 14 teams after the season. On Tuesday, the MLBPA passed the MLB through a proposal (which may include economic issues) and the two sides will meet again late Tuesday or sometime Wednesday.

Ultimately, the money will determine when a new CBA is reached. Baseball is a $10 billion a year business, and how that $10 billion is distributed will be at the core of the lockdown. There are other issues to deal with (rule changes, etc.) and those are important as well, but the money is the biggest problem. The lockout will not end until the money issue is resolved.

Reports suggest that the MLB and the MLBPA are still very far apart on economic issues, so getting a new CBA before the current one expires on Wednesday is considered a long way at best. The federation wants to put more money in the pockets of younger players and combat anti-competitive practices (i.e. hitting the tank), Among other things.

Once the lockup begins, the MLB is expected to implement a transaction freeze, halting all transactions involving players on the 40 list (i.e. union members). That has contributed to the recent flurry of free agency deals. Players who want to close their payday before the weeks-long (month?) lockdown is uncertain.

The lockout would be the MLB’s first job stoppage since the 1994-95 strike and the fourth lockout in baseball history. The previous three lockdowns took place in 1973 (12 days), 1976 (13 days) and 1990 (32 days) and did not result in any of the regular games of the season being postponed or cancelled.

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