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As MLB lockout continues, it appears that spring training will be delayed

Rob Manfred is the commissioner of baseball. (Arturo Pardavila III)

Philadelphia Phillies pitchers and catchers typically report to Clearwater in mid-February to begin preparing for a given season. Some players may still choose to report to the spring training home of the Phillies in the next couple weeks, but it doesn’t appear that there will be official team workouts anytime soon.

Major League Baseball met with the MLB Players Association Tuesday, in an attempt to move closer to new labor agreement, which would end a lockout imposed by the owners on Dec. 1. By all accounts, both sides seemed to emerge with a pessimistic feeling after the latest talks.

Ken Davidoff of The New York Post hears that Tuesday’s negotiations went for about and hour-and-a-half, adding that a source told him that the conversations were “heated.”

Both Davidoff and Jon Heyman of Audacy Sports hear that the player’s association made some concessions in the talks. Davidoff says that the MLBPA lowered “their asks on service-time manipulation and the pre-arbitration bonus.” Heyman offered this, a sign that the two sides still have quite a bit of bridge to gap in negoations:

All this makes it increasingly likely that spring training won’t start on time. In fact, ESPN‘s Jeff Passan says that “the on-time starting of spring training at this point is in grave danger,” adding that “a delay feels inevitable.”

We aren’t quite at the point of saying that the Phillies are unlikely to play in Houston on March 31 when the regular season is slated to begin, but that conversation probably isn’t too far off.


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