MLB lockout: What is and is not allowed to happen during a baseball team shutdown?

At 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the baseball team’s collective bargaining agreement expires and MLB owners are expected to lock down players. This will be the baseball’s first outage since the 1994-95 players’ strike, and once the owners’ lockout begins, there’s no telling when it will end. With any luck, the shutdown will end up in time for spring training, though that could be optimistic.

“We went down this road. We were locked in ’89 -’90,” Commissioner Rob Manfred told the Associated Press recently. “I don’t think ’94 works too well for anyone. I think when you look at other sports, the pattern has become to control the timing of labor disputes and try to minimize the prospect of a season. actual interruption. That’s what it’s about. It avoids damaging the season.”

Over the past few days and weeks MLB and the MLB Players Association traded proposals, some more realistic than others, and at the heart of the labor war was money. MLB is a $10 billion a year business, and how that $10 billion is distributed is the biggest sticking point. The outage will end once the MLB and MLBPA find the funds, and no earlier than a second.

What does a cabinet lock look like to the casual fan? If past layoffs and talks going back to last year are any indication, there will be plenty of public bout between the two and we’ll see it all in real time online. society. During the 1994-95 layoff, we all had to wait to see the next day’s newspaper for the latest news. Now we see it as it happens.

With lockdowns seemingly inevitable after the collective bargaining agreement expires on Wednesday night, here’s what you need to know about shutdowns and what really happens during lockdowns.

There is a possibility that there will be a frozen transaction

MLB is expected to implement a trade freeze during the lockdown, which means no free agent trading or signing (or waiver, release, etc.) (ie MLBPA member). Baseball shutdown jobs are not always characterized by frozen transactions (Mets trade Vince Coleman for Royals for Kevin McReynolds during strike 1994-95) although it is believed we will see one this season.

Because the lockout will only involve MLBPA members, we may see minor league signings or even transactions involving non-40 roster players during the shutdown. work. Those are rare, although technically doable.

Players still get paid (sort of)

During the lockdown, players will receive any signing bonuses or deferred salary payments, although they won’t be paid their base salary if the lockdown extends into the regular season ( players only get paid during the season). Here are some notable signing bonus payments due over the next few weeks:

Max Scherzer’s just completed the contract with National citizen including $105 million in deferred wages and bills beginning to come due in 2022. Washington owes him $15 million by July 1 of each year from 2022-28, so even if the situation is bad With the lockdown going on and into the summer, Scherzer will still receive his $15 million deferred paycheck on July 1.

Unions can provide players with financial assistance during the shutdown, although it will be much less than the player’s contracted salary. For example, some players received $10,000 biweekly during the 1994-95 strike. The league can also provide players with interest-free loans in some cases and will help cover the cost of health insurance if the shutdown extends into the season.

Do not practice at club facilities

This part is simple. During the lockdown, the owners completely locked the players out of the club’s facilities, which meant no training (club organization or otherwise). If necessary, the MLBPA will run practice facilities in Arizona and Florida for players during the lockdown, similar to union free agency camp in Florida during spring training 2018.

It should be noted that this means that injured players cannot be rehabilitated at club facilities or with club sports coaches. Charlie Morton will not be allowed to rehabilitate his broken leg with brave Coaches and pitchers like Zack Britton, Tyler Glasnow, Spencer Turnbull, Justin Verlander, and dozens more will have to progress through their Tommy John surgery to get out of the club.

“Really, most player quests won’t change because of this,” Morton told The Athletic’s David O’Brien earlier this month. “But for me personally, if I can’t go to an affiliate site for detox – like if I can’t go to (Braves spring training site) for detox – it’s not going to make me Can’t do my detox, but I’m sure the Braves want my hands and eyes. That’s the way it should be. But those who exercise and recover at team facilities with team staff. No one really wants to see us, so that’s going to affect people who work at a team facility with team employees, or who are changing.”

Drug testing considered impossible

There’s no definite answer on this yet but it looks like MLB won’t be able to test players for banned substances during the lockdown. For what it’s worth, players aren’t tested for drugs last time NFL and NHL locks. Under a mutually agreed-upon drug deal, players are randomly tested for banned substances year-round, with possible additional tests when there is a probable cause.

Players can play in other tournaments

During the lockdown, players will be allowed to play in winter leagues, independents and even professional leagues abroad (Japan, Korea, etc.). There is precedent here, as many NHL players have played abroad in Europe and Russia during the league’s shutdown from 2004-05. The MLBPA will resist any attempt by a team or MLB itself to block a player from playing in another league during the lockdown.

Minor tournaments will continue

Based on previous precedent, it will operate as usual for minor leagues during the lockdown. The notable exception is 40-man roster players (i.e. MLBPA members) who will be expected to side with their league brethren and not play for a minor league team. MLB during the closing period. However, non-40 players are free to play as minors, and they will not be seen as crossing the line of restriction like MLB’s substitutes during the 1994-95 strike.

The 2022 minor league season is slated to start on April 8, and if the lockout period is so long that minor games are happening but MLB games are not, we could see minors. nationally broadcast, similar to ESPN’s Korean show of Baseball’s games during last year’s pandemic shutdown. Some notable young players not on the 40-man roster their organization includes Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman, Royal leapfrog Bobby Witt Jr., and Many tigers midfielder Riley Greene. MLB lockout: What is and is not allowed to happen during a baseball team shutdown?


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