KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Major League Baseball has canceled opening day.
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Tuesday the sport will lose regular-season games — the first two series, so far — over a labor dispute for the first time in 27 years after acrimonious lockout talks collapsed in the hours before management’s deadline.
The news comes after the players association rejected MLB’s “best and final offer” Tuesday.
MLB made its last offer about 90 minutes before a self-imposed 4 p.m. deadline. The league threatened to cancel opening day on March 31 without a deal by then.
According to Associated Press, Manfred chose March 1 as the deadline for an agreement because he said the players need at least 28 days to prepare for the season. The union said it didn’t necessarily agree to the timeframe.
At 4 p.m. Tuesday, Manfred issued a statement that many fans had been dreading: Nothing to look forward to on opening day, normally a spring standard of renewal for fans throughout the nation and some in Canada, too.
The two sides made progress during 16 1/2 hours of bargaining Monday, then exchanged new offers Tuesday.
The union convened a call of its player representatives after receiving MLB’s offer. Players have repeatedly cautioned that significant differences remained in key economic areas, and MLB’s proposal did not close that gap in their eyes.
— MLB proposed raising the luxury tax threshold from $210 million to $220 million in each of the next three seasons, $224 million in 2025 and $230 in 2026 — unchanged from its prior offer. Players asked for $238 million this year, $244 million in 2023, $250 million in 2024, $256 million in 2025 and $263 in 2026.
— MLB increased its offer for a new bonus pool for pre-arbitration players from $25 million to $30 million, and the union dropped from $115 million to $85 million for this year, with $5 million yearly increases.
— MLB proposed raising the minimum salary from $570,500 to $700,000 this year, up from its previous offer of $675,000, and included increases of $10,000 annually. The union asked for $725,000 this year, $745,000 in 2023, $765,000 in 2024 and increases for 2025 and 2026 based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners.
— MLB offered to have the five top picks in the amateur draft determined by a lottery.
— MLB would expand the postseason to 12 teams, the figure the union prefers to management’s original request for 14.
The last lockout for the league was in 1995, which lasted for seven and half months.
Players would lose $20.5 million in salary for each day of the season that is canceled, according to a study by The Associated Press, and the 30 teams would lose large sums that are harder to pin down.
Spring training games were supposed to begin Saturday, but baseball’s ninth work stoppage already has led to exhibitions being canceled through March 7.
December 2. 2021: The lockout began shortly after midnight on December 2, or with the official expiration of the previous CBA. The lockout stopped the transactions such as free-agent signings and trades.
February 1: The MLBPA lowers its requested pre-arbitration bonus pool from $105 million to $100 million.
The union also wants to incorporate an incentive system allowing players to earn more money based on their finish in awards voting and performance, based on statistics.
Also, MLB has proposed a postseason expanding the first round to help players earn approximately $20 million more in postseason shares.
February 3: MLB failed to counter offer and requested a federal mediator to help with the negotiations to reduce revenue sharing and two-year arbitration eligibility.
February 4: The union rejects the request of a federal mediator.
February 12: MLB presents its 130-page counteroffer and proposed four critical areas of minimum salary, the pre-arbitration bonus pool, competitive balance tax, and service time.
February 15: Pitchers and catchers report delayed due to lockout.
February 18: League announced that Spring Training games would be postponed and start no earlier than March 5.
February 24: MLB sets a February 28 deadline to reach a deal on a new CBA with the players’ union for there to be a regular 162-game season.
February 25: More Spring Training games canceled through at least March 7.
February 28: The last day of the month is the deadline to reach a CBA deal with the players’ union for a regular 162-game season. Both sides met on five separate occasions for six hours Sunday. No deal and both sides met for over 16 hours Monday. MLB pushed the deadline for March 1.
March 1: The two sides did not reach a deal before a self-imposed 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday.