Rob Manfred on lockout: ‘It’s not a good thing for the sport’

In the wake of the Major League Baseball lockout, commissioner Rob Manfred held a press conference on Thursday morning. The lockout was instituted after the 2016-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between MLB owners and the players’ union expired at midnight Eastern Time.

Manfred acknowledged that he was aware of the negative impact the lockout would have across the sport.

Per MLB Trade Rumors’ Anthony Franco, the league was not “under a mandate” to lock the players out, as even without a CBA, the offseason could’ve proceeded with trades and free agency signings. The last two winters without a CBA were in 1993-1994 and during the player’s strike of 1994-1995, but offseason business still proceeded.

“There’s been little expectation MLB wouldn’t institute a lockout once this CBA expired, however. Locking out in the absence of an agreement has become the typical practice in other professional sports leagues, as management hasn’t wanted to afford players the choice whether to go on strike at a later date,” Franco wrote. “The players eventually went on strike during the 1994 season, for example, spurred on by ownership’s imposition of a salary cap. The sides didn’t reach a new agreement that year, and that season’s World Series was ultimately cancelled.”

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, one of the items that Manfred brought up on Thursday morning was that the union was seeking a $100 million reduction in revenue sharing.

Evan Drellich reported that Manfred said that no upcoming meetings are currently scheduled with the MLBPA, but he holds optimism.

Victor Barbosa is a passionate follower of MLB, the NBA and NFL, with a specific interest in the Boston-area teams. As a 90s kid, he knows how spoiled he’s been, particularly with the BoSox run of championships (he grew up with a dog named Nomar and a cat named Big Papi). Now he lives with his fiancee and two pups (Hershey and Mosby) outside of Albany, NY. Follow Victor on Twitter at @vbarbosa1127.

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