MLB Is Not Even Trying to End the Lockout

Oct 26, 2021; Houston, TX, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred before game one of the 2021 World Series between the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves at Minute Maid Park.

Some 10 hours after Major League Baseball locked out its players, commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters that a work stoppage is bad for business. “Let me finish by reiterating our willingness to bargain at any time,” he added. Evidently he has changed his mind.

According to two people familiar with the process, entering Thursday the league and the union had not met since the collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 1. At 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 2, the league imposed a lockout, baseball’s first work stoppage in 26 years. A handful of people are scheduled to talk Thursday about issues other than the core economic ones, a broad category that could include such topics as the joint drug agreement. The conversation is inconsequential enough that lead negotiators Dan Halem, of MLB, and Bruce Meyer, of the players’ association, are not expected to attend.

Union officials declined to comment. An MLB official said that it was the league that suggested the Thursday session.