On Thursday 2, December 2021, the current owners of the MLB voted unanimously to enact a lockout due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement of 2016 expiring this year, this had caused the postponement of opening day, causing it to be moved to thursday 7, April 2022, also rescheduling games, and shortening spring training. The conflict more specifically arose from a freeze in contract signing causing a lockout, which resulted in $1.9 billion in new contracts signed during the free agency period.
At the beginning of the lockout Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of Baseball instituted a transaction freeze, also causing commercial identities of the MLB to be taken down such as imagery of active players, along with the MLB network suspending all offseason studio programming. Later in January the League and player’s union met of zoom on thursday 13, January 2022, with the league proposing increases of salary to veteran players, and performance bonuses, but the player’s union did not accept the proposal, which did not address the free agency eligibility which did not allow players with fewer than three years of major league play to have salary arbitration, which meant they could not propose deals for salary. They later met on monday 24, January 2022, agreeing to push for the alteration of reduced revenue sharing from big advertising organizations to the small franchises. Later on in February more deals, and offers were made in order to compromise, such as a luxury tax for managers, and salary deals and boosts for newer players in the league. Eventually the lockout ended on Thursday 10, March 2022, in which the league and players union agreed to sign their new collective bargaining agreement which had changed the luxury tax threshold and had accepted better salary benefits for players.
The lockout was a big deal, not only because it changed salary for players and managers alike, but it had also been one of the few lockouts to ever happen in the history of the league, with worker strikes ranging from 1972 to 1995, and only 3 other lockouts to ever happen, such as the 1973 lockout, the 1976 lockout, and the 1990 lockout, the lockout was also instrumental to the future of the benefits of players in the league as lockouts such as the 1990 lockouts, had placed fear in the players that with limits on salary and contracts that they might be ripped off, and might not get enough money they should be getting.
Even with the lockout being primarily about the players and salary, fans were also somewhat affected by the 4 month long lockout as it would postpone opening day later, although that wouldn’t hurt the fans as much as the players who have had a shortened spring training. Either way, the result of the lockout has affected players, and the money they make, although they will have barely any time to practice before opening day, baseball fans will once again be able to enjoy the game on thursday 7, April 2022.