MLB Rumors: Lockout All But Guaranteed Once Collective Bargaining Agreement Expires
General view of outfield grass, player shadow
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

MLB free agency has kicked into overdrive the past few days, but the sport seemingly is on the verge of coming to a crashing halt once the collective bargaining agreement expires at 8:59 p.m. PT on Wednesday.

The league and MLB Players Association have long been at odds, with tension particularly high since the two sides were unable to agree on an economics plan for the COVID-impacted 2020 season and commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally set a schedule.

Finances, competitive integrity and potentially expanding the postseason field have been at the core of negotiations. Manfred recently said it was difficult to gauge what progress — if any — had been made toward agreeing to a new CBA.

Although meetings between MLB and the union are ongoing, the long-held expectation of a lockout being put into effect largely remains a forgone conclusion, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network:

Any hope for a late turnaround was further dashed amid what effectively was a non-meeting, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

A stoppage this week would be MLB’s first since the 1994-95 players’ strike that lasted 232 days and resulted in that year’s World Series getting cancelled. A lockout would be the first since 1990, when all Spring Training games were lost and Opening Day was pushed back one week.

The 1990 regular season also needed to be extended three days in order to play a full 162-game schedule.

If team owners do impose a lockout, it would freeze 40-man rosters and all Major League activity; included in that is the Major League portion of the annual Rule 5 Draft.

The MLBPA sent a guide to its members outlining various factors and options if an MLB lockout begins this week.

How MLB lockout would impact Dodgers

Along with no longer being permitted to sign or trade Major League players, the Dodgers would need to close the doors at Dodger Stadium, where Justin Turner has been working out and rehabbing from a Grade 2 left hamstring strain.

Though, Turner — and others who are rehabbing — technically are able to continue accessing team facilities while rehabbing until they are medically cleared.

Further more, Seiya Suzuki, who was recently posted by Hiroshima, would have his 30-day window to negotiate and sign with a club paused. The Dodgers reportedly are among the teams interested in the 27-year-old.

What L.A. would be able to tend to is potentially ironing out details on a contract extension for manager Dave Roberts.

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