The moment all baseball fans feared is finally upon us. The MLBPA and team owners couldn't reach an agreement and we're officially going through labor stoppage, with free agency halted and the future up in the air.
Multiple insiders and analysts predicted this scenario as the players were adamant to change multiple aspects of the CBA, including player control, free agency, and establishing a salary floor for all teams.
Needless to say, team owners are unwilling to cave in to those demands as they look to maximize profit, which is why both parties are nowhere near an agreement, and it doesn't seem like things will change any time soon.
Max Scherzer Discusses The Lockout
So, with the upcoming season up in the air, New York Mets superstar Max Scherzer sat down with Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times to explain why the players are so eager to change things:
"We feel as players that too many teams have gone into a season without any intent to win during this past CBA," Scherzer said. "Even though that can be a strategy to win in future years, we’ve seen both small-market and large-market clubs embrace tanking, and that cannot be the optimal strategy for the owners.”
Scherzer also explained how mid-level free agents are hurt by the current agreement, claiming that the clubs aren't willing to make up for their past contributions and look to minimize spending early in a players' career:
“The grand bargain is that you make less money early in your career so that you can make more money later in your career," the pitcher explained. "Teams have shown that they’re not willing to pay for players’ past production for a whole slew of reasons. And if that’s the case, that’s the case. But if we’re going to look at players that way, then we need to then allocate more money to players earlier in their career.”
When asked about whether the upcoming season could be delayed, the former Nationals star was non-committal. Clearly, the owners won't give up without a fight and are willing to go the distance here:
“It’s too hard to even speculate what the future looks like," Scherzer said. "You’re just in limbo right now. You’re training ready to be good to go for when spring training starts. If that doesn’t happen, then you make different decisions based on that. But until that happens, you have to have the mentality that we’re going to be playing on time. Any other kind of speculation is just hearsay.”
Hopefully, this will be settled rather sooner than later. We can't be without baseball again.