The New York Yankees don’t know when the regular season, or even spring training, will start. At the moment, there has been an impasse in collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations between MLB and the Players Association.
With no CBA, and an owners-imposed lockout, the season is unlikely to start in time. After an Owners Meeting that will culminate today, the league is expected to announce that spring training will be delayed.
The players met this week, too. While Yankees’ managing partner Hal Steinbrenner was in Orlando for the Owner Meetings, the union has been talking about potential next steps, too.
The Players Association has been meeting in Florida and Arizona, and Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole was present in the latter location to show his support. He is, according to NJ Advance Media, a member of the MLBPA executive subcommittee.
The Yankees’ ace stands for his fellow players
The players are still ready to negotiate and fight for their rights: a more competitive league with no tanking and service time manipulation and; of course, a higher minimum salary, better conditions for minor leaguers, and more earning opportunities for pre-arbitration players.
“I was at our PA meeting in AZ and it was exciting to see solidarity this high,” Cole tweeted. “We had 100+ players show up and are united to protect the integrity of the game.”
Owners, so far, have refused to increase the minimum salary beyond $600,000, while players want something closer to $775,000. It was $570,500 last season.
MLB can still secure a full 162-game schedule if both parties agree on a new CBA deal before March. Once that date passes, if there is no CBA agreement, it could be problematic.
There is a chance the season doesn’t start on time, especially if owners, who have been rather inflexible at the moment of negotiation money issues, don’t concede things. The Yankees, and the rest of the teams, remain in wait-and-see mode.
Players will start to suffer financial consequences if regular season games are lost.