As MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addressed the media in Orlando at the conclusion of the owners meetings on Thursday, a large contingent of players gathered at a hotel in Tampa to discuss the state of the lockout.
Among the 50 players to attend the union meeting are Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorius, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Former Phillies outfielder and current free agent Andrew McCutchen was also in attendance. Earlier this week, union leaders held meetings with players in Arizona.
Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins is the Phillies’ union representative. In an interview with MLB Network Radio in January, pitcher Kyle Gibson, a former union rep himself, noted that Hoskins has been providing his Phillies teammates updates on a regular basis regarding the labor stoppage.
The Major League Baseball Players Association is awaiting the league’s next proposal, which is scheduled to be delivered in an upcoming negotiation session on Saturday. The last proposal, which came from the players side, was put forth on Feb. 1. Since then, the league has yet to counter the players and opted to request help from a federal mediator instead.
Notable union leaders spoke to reporters following the meeting in Tampa.
“We’ll see it when it comes across,” free agent pitcher and executive subcommittee member Andrew Miller told Topkin when asked about the owner’s upcoming proposal. “Obviously we have hopes that they send over something that is something that we can work with and a true start to the negotiations. We haven’t seen that yet. So … talking is good.”
In his press conference, Manfred told reporters that missing games would be “a disastrous outcome for this industry.” It remains to be seen if the owners’ next proposal moves the two sides closer to a deal.
Commissioner Manfred did not formally state that the start of spring training would be delayed, but it’s highly unlikely that the players and owners would have enough time to finalize a deal for pitchers and catchers to report by Feb. 16.
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