Baseball is back: Major League Baseball‘s owners and players have reportedly reached a tentative agreement on a new labor deal, ending the 99-day lockout that has delayed the 2022 season.
The report comes from ESPN baseball reporter Jeff Passan, who adds that the deal still has to be ratified by both parties, but that is expected to be a formality. Players can report to spring training as early as tomorrow, and Opening Day is currently slated for April 7 — a week later than the original March 31 date. The hope is to fit in enough games to preserve the traditional 162 game season, despite the delay.
Major League Baseball’s team owners first locked out the players in December after the collective bargaining agreement expired, marking the game’s first work stoppage in more than 25 years. The sticking point, of course, was money, with the players pushing for higher pay for young players early in their careers. The lockout meant that players were barred from all team activity and would not be paid until a deal is reached.
Spring training was set to begin last month, but that came and went, and on March 1, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the first two series of the regular season would be cancelled after players and owners failed to reach a deal. With the new deal, though, it’s possible those cancelled games could be made up at a later date.