Major League Baseball has been shut down for the past week due to a lockout, while the owners and players negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and there’s no telling exactly how long it might last.
The two sides have a lot of differences to hash out, and tensions are as high as ever lately. This isn’t just some routine re-up of an old boilerplate labor deal everybody was happy with. Some of the topics on the table include significant changes to the business side of the sport, and regardless of the result, it’ll take a while to talk through it.
In the meantime, the offseason is on pause. Teams can’t sign MLB free agents or trade MLB players, and they can’t even negotiate, so rumors are basically impossible. Oakland A’s fans might still get some bits of news, as the team can still search for a manager and sign their annual allotment of minor league free agent lotto tickets, but otherwise it’ll be a slow winter until further notice.
So the question is, how long might this last? Today is Dec. 8, and the A’s first spring training game is scheduled for Feb. 26, less than three months away.
Elsewhere at SB Nation, Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue offers some thoughts. Yellon notes that there hasn’t been news of any meetings since the lockout began a week ago, and suggests that not much will happen soon with the holiday season quickly approaching. That would mean we don’t begin hearing much at all until early January, with a roughly six-week clock to figure everything out before delaying spring report dates. As a reminder, as recently as two summers ago the owners showed they were perfectly willing to sacrifice a few games to get the terms they wanted.
Let’s put it to a vote! There are two ways to record your guess. First, the poll below has a few big-picture options. Second, you can also scroll down to the comments, where we can each pick a specific date. To keep all the guesses together at the top of the thread, I’ll begin with one “Pick your date” comment and everyone can reply to that with just a date. This isn’t a contest or anything, just for fun, so don’t worry if you pick the same date as somebody else.
When will the MLB lockout end?
This poll is closed
Before the end of December, no biggie
In January, season unaffected
In February, slightly delaying spring training
In March, slightly delaying Opening Day
In April or later, shortening season
Never! Season canceled entirely