MLB Lockout: The First Labor Stoppage Since 1994


Gavin Kleinberger, Sports Editor, Junior

Major League Baseball is now in the midst of its first work stoppage since the 1994-95 season. This lockout means that no trades can occur, no free agents will be able to sign with their new team, and no team practices or events can take place at the major league level. This comes after heavy team spending in free agency, prior to the lockout beginning. The lockout began because the Major League Baseball Players Union, and the owners of all the MLB teams could not come to an agreement over the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This is because both sides wanted very different things, whether it be on the field, or in the business side of baseball. On field changes could include a designated hitter in both leagues, this way pitchers will no longer hit across baseball. However, on the business side, changes could come to free agency, because many players don’t reach free agency for the first time until they are at least 28 or 29 years old. Also, the minor league system could change, because minor league players are given little compensation for the job equivalent of a major league player, and up until a few months ago, they weren’t provided housing. 

Brad Case is a former Pelham graduate who is now a pitching prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system. He helped give an in depth look as to how professional baseball players are reacting, and he explained how the negotiations will likely get ugly, as they have during former work stoppages. 

When asked how the on-field product will change, he said, “I think the [universal] DH is coming,” citing how they need to make the game more marketable to young fans. 

He also explained how the game needs to change on a corporate level, detailing how many decisions made are problematic. This includes the leaked story that came out about the league office sending a baseball that was easier to hit home runs off of to big market games, solely for the purpose of making money.

Although the system is flawed, Case says that it is a dream come true for him, saying, “Growing up playing at Richie Bell and Glover Field, I never saw it as a possibility to be doing it professionally.” Case and many others are hoping that the labor unrest will come to an end soon, and baseball fans will get to watch the sport they know and love come Spring Training 2022.