Even as MLB and the MLB Players Association held opposing views regarding an international draft, there was some hope Wednesday that the two sides could come to an agreement to end the lockout that caused the cancellation of at least the first two series of the regular season and wiped out spring training games through March 18.
That hope officially disappeared early Wednesday evening when MLB commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed via a statement that fans won’t get Opening Day before mid-April at the earliest.
“In a last-ditch effort to preserve a 162-game season, this week we have made good-faith proposals that address the specific concerns voiced by the MLBPA and would have allowed the players to return to the field immediately,” Manfred said. “The Clubs went to extraordinary lengths to meet the substantial demands of the MLBPA. On the key economic issues that have posed stumbling blocks, the Clubs proposed ways to bridge gaps to preserve a full schedule. Regrettably, after our second late-night bargaining session in a week, we remain without a deal.
“Because of the logistical realities of the calendar, another two series are being removed from the schedule, meaning that Opening Day is postponed until April 14th. We worked hard to reach an agreement and offered a fair deal with significant improvements for the players and our fans. I am saddened by this situation’s continued impact on our game and all those who are a part of it, especially our loyal fans.
“We have the utmost respect for our players and hope they will ultimately choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered.”
Per MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, things turned ugly earlier in the day: