Legends On Deck

Baseball’s Continued Lockout Not A Good Sign For All Free Agents

Today is January 12, 2022, and with a little over a month away from the start of Spring Training, a new and exciting baseball season is upon us, or is it?

At 12:01 AM E.T. on December 2, 2021, MLB owners voted unanimously to lockout the players and the game after the expiration of the 2016 collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union. Now as much as the reasons for the lockout are important to both sides, what is more important to note, is what will happen to the impending free agents who use spring training as a way to showcase their skills for possible new clubs.

This past weekend, I was listening to a MLB podcast on this very subject and it was discussed that one possible outcome would be for the season to skip spring training all together and the lockout to end just in time for the start of the 2022 season.  But as enticing as that may be for some players and fans that may deem spring training as a waste of time,  there still are load of free agents still needing the time and attention in front of the scouts and team heads.

When we look at Free Agents who are seasoned veterans, like Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Kris Bryant and Matt Carpenter, just to name a few; signing with a new club, even in late April or early May, may not be such a big deal. But what about the other players, with the likes of Chasen Bradford, T.J. Rivera, Todd Isaacs, Anfernee Seymour, Dilson Herrera and many many more that may not have that much service time and have the luxury to wait as long and need spring training to get the reps in, in front of the eyes that could make the decision to sign them to a contract. What about those guys?

The lockout is really proving to ruin the chances of many ballplayers hoping to keep their dreams alive for another season.

As a fan of this amazing game, MLB needs to just get it together and make it happen. Whatever the major items are that are keeping the two sides apart, they need to figure it out and fast. The game is not just a business, but its about the fans also.  It doesnt matter how many sponsors they have and how much TV time each club gets unless the fans are watching and caring, does the game still matter?

Most if not all MLB players and owners were greatly affected when Covid-19 hit and they competed in nearly empty stadiums with only the sounds of the fans on the stadium speakers.  Even watching a game was horrible from a fans perspective.

Now, I can’t see stadiums being fully emptied again once the lockout ends, even if there are fans that are turned away from the game, but it wont be the same for a while.

At the end of the day, baseball needs to get back to the table, finalize the agreement and open the doors so they can get back to normal operations that will provide opportunities for all players in the game.

I guess Milwaukee Brewers Christian Yelich, says it best in his tweet below.

 

David Conde
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