What Does a Potential Lockout Mean for the MLB?


Ethan Schwam

As big names in free agency start to fall off the board, big moves are being made, and trades are being devised, the MLB and its players have been working to develop a new Collective Bargaining Agreement to set rules and changes in place for the upcoming  2022 season.  However, the deadline for both sides to agree is Thursday, and it is looking grim for baseball as a lockout (a lengthy one at that) is entirely possible. So what does this mean?

A work stoppage, defined as a “freezing” period within a company or business, means that literally nothing is being done until agreement is reached. This means that no transactions, including free agents, trades, and other moves are permitted until the end of the lockout. With big names still on the free agents list including Carlos Correa and Trevor Story, this can mean we will not see them sign anywhere for a very long time. Teams looking to deal trade assets cannot do so either, so we will see everybody stay put.

As for the playing of baseball itself, if the lockout reaches into mid February when Spring Training is due to kick off, no workouts or games will be held. Obviously the league will work hard to revise the CBA so that no games are missed, but even if this somehow carries over into the regular season, teams still cannot play.


As of Tuesday, the players’ association and owners did meet, but talks were brief and nobody was very willing to budge. Issues such as arbitration rulings and the institution of the designated hitter in the National League are cited as key points in the new agreement. There is little chance anything will be set in stone, so the aforementioned effects of a stoppage seem bound to happen, leaving baseball fans to play the waiting game until the season begins.