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Despite an abundance of optimism from commissioner Rob Manfred in recent weeks that a new collective bargaining agreement would be signed before the current one expires next month, the possibility of a work stoppage is now becoming more of a reality.
Major League Baseball owners will reportedly consider voting to lock out players if a new CBA isn’t reached by the time the current one expires on Dec. 1, sources told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
“We don’t negotiate in the press,” Manfred told Rosenthal. “We remain committed to the idea that we’re going to make an agreement before expiration.”
The owners are frustrated with the players’ union due to the slow pace of discussions, while a number of significant issues remain unresolved, sources told Rosenthal.
The competitive balance tax is a point of contention, as is a potential international draft and draft-pick compensation. The owners said they would eliminate draft-pick compensation if they could implement an international draft, but the players rejected the proposal, sources told Rosenthal.
“We aren’t giving them something that affects 30 percent of big leaguers and probably 50 percent of minor leaguers in exchange for something that affects less than 20 players every year, especially guys who are staring $ 17 million in the face,” one union source said.
The winter meetings are scheduled to take place Dec.4-8 and a potential lockout could threaten signings and trades.