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MLB, MLBPA extend the deadline for a deal to 5 p.m. ET Tuesday

And here you thought trade deadline day was crazy.

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I hope I can stop using these lockout photos soon
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For the first several days of CBA negotiations between MLB owners and players in Jupiter, Florida, I was able to post a wrap most days by early evening on what had transpired over the course of each day.

Monday, that wasn’t possible, as the parties went until the wee hours going back and forth between the Cardinals clubhouse at Roger Dean Stadium, where players set up their headquarters, and a suite at the same ballpark, where owners were caucusing. (The choice of HQ seem obvious, but also very well point out the difference between player and owner.) At one point player and owner representatives had walked back and forth between clubhouse and suite so many times that the assembled writers started referring to these as “innings.” The two sides got to the 13th “inning” before calling it off at 2:30 a.m. ET. (No runners on second were used, as far as I could tell.)

So the “deadline” of Monday that had been set by ownership turned out to be flexible after all. Per this article by Evan Drellich in The Athletic, it’s now 5 p.m. today, Tuesday, March 1. And about that “deadline”:

Here is today’s schedule (Eastern time):

Anyway, now that there is an actual, specific deadline, that will give all the writers sitting in the parking lot in Jupiter (and the phrase “parking lot in Jupiter” is probably not one you ever thought you’d read in a baseball article) time to write a story at a reasonable hour, whatever happens Tuesday. I’m posting this wrap a bit early this morning to provide a place for discussion. Whenever they’re done — and whatever the result — I’ll post a wrapup at that time.

Here are some of the details on what was tentatively agreed to:

All of this sounds fairly positive and raises the question: Why couldn’t they have started in December, rather than wait six weeks for the owners’ first offer, so that they didn’t need an all-nighter? What happened Monday sounds like real compromise, which is what you usually see when a real agreement is made.

Now, keep this in mind:

And this:

Owners definitely want that expanded playoff; there’s major money in it. There’s also major money in this, which is NOT related to the negotiations:

There was a previous rumor about MLB and Apple working on a deal that would be worth $350 million a year for streaming games on AppleTV+. Don’t believe MLB when they say they don’t have the money to give players most of what they want. They do have it.

And while all that was going on, something that would have been a huge headline any other day happened:

There could be a relationship between ownership spending in Miami and Derek Jeter’s departure from the Marlins, so maybe it’s related to the owner/player dispute after all.

Now, how do I feel about Monday’s long day’s journey into night? Cautiously optimistic. You will note above that despite the parties moving closer together on some of the key issues, they are still apparently far apart on others.

There’s also the issue of how to end the lockout and begin ramping up for resumed free agency and Spring Training. MLB has previously stated that players would need at least four weeks of Spring Training to be ready for the regular season — but that doesn’t mean they could simply start tomorrow if a deal’s made today. Players would have to get to camps from where they are. International players need work visas. You can’t expect players to immediately be in game shape. In a normal Spring Training, players have seven to 10 days of workouts before the first games — and some players are in MLB spring camps weeks early in normal years. That obviously isn’t the case now.

Yes, there are about four weeks (plus a couple of days) between now and the scheduled season opener on March 31. It’s hard for me to imagine them making it there even if players and owners reach agreement today. Perhaps they could agree to push Opening Day back a week, and tack those games on to the end of the season. That’s what they did in 1990, for example, when there was a lockout. Of course, with an expanded postseason now you’d be pushing the World Series back a week, which is problematic.

But Monday’s events did give cause for some hope that we’ll have a normal baseball season in 2022. I did not have that hope before Monday. As always, we await developments.

Now, here’s the best of the writer tweets from Monday’s day and night and early morning Tuesday.

Here’s the best summary of Monday’s sessions that I found:

Write your own captions (keep it clean!):

Another great photo of Rob Manfred!

Bryce Harper is looking for work! (Just kidding. We think.)

Something from a former Cub!

I’ll leave you this morning with a video of Max Scherzer walking in the dark:

As always, we await developments.