MLB Lockout Day 94: Next Meeting Finally Scheduled, Players Expected to Respond

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MLB Lockout Day 94: Next Meeting Finally Scheduled, Players Expected to Respond

Chicago Cubs

It’s getting harder and harder for me to quickly calculate which day of the lockout it is. I gotta do the 30 days of it in December, then 31 in January, 28 in February, and now 5 (so far) in March. My calculator says that is 94. Ninety-freaking-four days of a lockout. Have I mentioned that this sucks?

And it’s probably going to suck for several more weeks, but you hope the next seeds of progress are planted tomorrow, when the two sides will finally bargain again:

It isn’t the first session since things turned disastrous last week, but the one a couple days ago was between only a few parties and likely mostly about logistics and talking about HOW to go about the next set of discussions.

As for what the players might offer up tomorrow, I tend to think it won’t be a significant move, because they left the last set of negotiations feeling like it was the owners that were still very far off. Moreover, I’m not so sure the players won’t try, at this point, to use the looming RSN rebates as a pressure point for the owners. There’s just kind of an unfortunate synergy in place – on both sides – for there to be very little movement for a couple more weeks.

That said, Buster Olney reported yesterday that the players were preparing to re-engage the owners on the 14-team playoff setup – clearly desired by the owners – in exchange for more significant movement by the owners on other issues. That could provide some reason for optimism, but when considering everything, I tend to think that if the players move on the playoff size, then they will move almost not at all on the other economic issues (which will almost certainly cause problems for a block of the owners who think their OWN last offer was too generous or close to it).

Unfortunately, we seem to be back in the mode of one side submits something, the other side talks about it for a while, and then there is a response, etc. I don’t know if MLB or the players will, at some point, try to create another artificial deadline to spur action, but if you’re keeping score at home, it’s probably going to be that RSN rebate issue. If so, and if Spring Training requires four weeks, and if there needs to be a week or so before Spring Training starts, then you would be looking at the next painful deadline for a deal at some point not this coming week, but the week after that (the week of March 14).

In other words, I expect we will soon hear about the next chunk of cancelled regular season games, regardless of how tomorrow’s proposal and talks go. Oh, and be reminded: the more games that are lost – even if the RSN rebate thing doesn’t kick in as a pain point for nearly a month of the season – the bigger the fight will be about rescheduling games/back pay, and service time.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.