Mar 1, 2022 - Sports

MLB cancels Opening Day after players, league fail to reach a deal

Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's Opening Day, which was scheduled for March 31, will be canceled after the league and the players' association failed to reach a deal, commissioner Rob Manfred announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: It will be the first time in 27 years that regular-season games have been canceled due to a labor dispute between the two sides.

  • The first two series of the season have been canceled and will not be made up, according to Manfred. Players will not be paid for missed games.

The big picture: The players and league differ in three major areas: the luxury tax, bonus pool and minimum salary, USA Today writes.

How we got here: The league made its “best and final offer” on Tuesday, but the players rejected it.

  • Both sides had negotiated for over 16 hours on Monday, AP reports, and exchanged offers the next day ahead of the league-imposed 5pm ET deadline Tuesday.
  • An MLB spokesperson said early Tuesday morning that the two sides had been close to a deal, USA Today reports.
  • “We thought there was a path to a deal last night and that both sides were closing in on the major issues,’’ an MLB spokesman said.

What they’re saying: “I had hoped against hope I wouldn’t have to have this press conference where I am going to cancel some regular-season games,” Manfred said

  • “I want to assure our fans that our failure to reach an agreement was not due to a lack of effort by either party," he added.
  • Manfred had previously said that missing games would be "disastrous."

The other side: The MLB Players' Association said in a statement that it was "disgusted, but sadly not surprised" that the start of the season was delayed.

  • "Against the backdrop of growing revenues and record profits, we are seeking nothing more than a fair agreement," the statement said.
  • The MLBPA added that the owners were trying to "break our Player fraternity," but said their effort would fail.
  • "We are united and committed to negotiating a fair deal that will improve the sport for Players, fans and everyone who loves our game."

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Thursday the government is encouraging both sides "to stay at the bargaining table and reach an agreement, as soon as they can so we can kick off the season and get back to enjoying baseball games."

Editor's note: This post has been updated with comments from the MLB Players' Association and the White House.

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