Updated Dec 2, 2021 - Sports

MLB enters first work stoppage since '95 as deal expires

  MLB COO Robert Manfred (L) and MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark (R) attend the MLB Welcome to Australia Press Conference at Sydney Cricket Ground on March 18, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (left) and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. Photo: Matt King/MLB via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59pm ET Wednesday without a new deal in place.

Why it matters: With no CBA, the MLB is in a management lockout — the first work stoppage since a 1994-95 strike led to the cancellation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

  • Teams aren't permitted to speak with players during the lockout, nor can they make new signings, and players can't use team facilities until a new CBA is reached, per ESPN.

What they're saying: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a letter to fans early Thursday, "Despite the league's best efforts to make a deal with the Players Association, we were unable to extend our 26 year-long history of labor peace and come to an agreement with the MLBPA before the current CBA expired."

  • "Therefore, we have been forced to commence a lockout of Major League players," effective at 12:01am ET on Thursday," he added.
"We hope that the lockout will jumpstart the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time. This defensive lockout was necessary because the Players Association's vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive. It's simply not a viable option. From the beginning, the MLBPA has been unwilling to move from their starting position, compromise, or collaborate on solutions."
— Manfred
  • The MLB Players Association disagreed in a statement early Thursday calling the shutdown "a dramatic measure" that's "not required by law or for any other reason."

Driving the news: League and union negotiators had spent three days in Irving, Texas, this week trying to reach an agreement on matters including finances and free agency rights, but talks ended after seven minutes Wednesday, ESPN reports.

By the numbers: This is the ninth stoppage and fourth lockout since the MLB began.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout. Its headline has also been corrected to note that it's the first MLB work stoppage since 1995, not the first lockout.

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