One day short of 100 days into the MLB owners’ lockout, we have a tentative deal for baseball to return to the field:
BREAKING: Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor deal, sources tell ESPN. While it still needs to be ratified by both parties, that is expected to be a formality, and when it is:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 10, 2022
Baseball is back.
Here’s how the vote went among the 30 MLB team player reps and the eight-member MLBPA executive board:
Told it was a 26-12 vote— Travis Sawchik (@Travis_Sawchik) March 10, 2022
Here are details about how Major League Baseball will resume:
Players can report to spring-training camps as early as tomorrow. Opening Day is expected to be April 7, as @JesseRogersESPN first reported. Transactions unfreeze upon ratification, which is expected to come as early as today, meaning free agents can sign and trades can occur.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 10, 2022
So the free agent frenzy can begin later today, and I would assume there are teams and agents who have been waiting to talk and we’ll see deals made fairly quickly, based on that.
It was reported earlier Thursday that MLB spring games would begin possibly on March 17. The Cubs were scheduled to have an off day that day, so their first spring games will be a split squad Friday, March 18, at Sloan Park vs. the newly named Guardians and also at Glendale against the White Sox, both games at 3:05 p.m. CT.
The regular season schedule is tentatively set to begin Thursday, April 7. On that date the Cubs are scheduled to host the Brewers at Wrigley Field. That game is currently set for a 6:40 p.m. CT start, though that could change. The games that had been “removed from the schedule” — that’s MLB’s exact wording — will apparently be made up later as part of doubleheaders, and those DH games will go nine innings. The Cubs had five games “removed,” a three-game set at Cincinnati and two games against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.
More on rules:
Baseball is really back. Nine inning doubleheaders and regular extra inning rules return. Man on 2nd is a thing of the past.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) March 10, 2022
There will obviously be much, much more to sort out over the next days and weeks but... baseball is back!