Rob Manfred, Commissioner of Baseball, speaks out on the MLB lockout
Ricky Gray | March 11, 2022
In an interview with ESPN, Rob Manfred expressed what’s transpired during the MLB lockout and how it came to an end
ESPN's MLB reporter Jesse Rogers had the chance to speak with Manfred shortly after coming to an agreement with the MLB's Players' Association. This collective bargaining agreement brought an end to a 99-day owner-imposed lockout.
To no surprise, Manfred noted that a "weight came off my shoulders" once he learned the agreement was ratified. In fact, the CBA was ratified by a 30-0 vote by owners. Twenty-six of 38 union leaders voted in favor of the agreement which was then moved up to the owners.
The agreement itself allows the owners to have an expanded postseason field and the ability to place advertisements on uniforms. In the future, Manfred stated he plans to work more closely with the MLBPA Executive Director, Tony Clark. This way, they can bridge the noticeable gap.
Another facet of the CBA is in regards to minimum salaries for players. In the new agreement, minimum salaries will begin at $700,000 in 2022, a 23% increase from 2021. By the final year of the five-year agreement, the minimum salary will rise to $780,000.
This was the second-longest lockout in MLB history, now that it's ended the market is officially open. Teams can now begin trades and free-agent signings, while players are required to report to spring training by Sunday, March 13th.
In regards to the extended time it took to end the lockout, Manfred said: "I know the last few months have been rough on our fans, and I'm sensitive to that. I get it. Unfortunately, the process, as it's designed in the National Labor Relations Act, works around deadlines and economic leverage. And sometimes to get the parties to make the compromises that are necessary to make an agreement, it takes time."
For fans, the CBA aims to curb the concerns over "tanking" by implementing a six-team draft lottery. There will also be a 12-team postseason and a universal designated hitter.
We'll have to see if the league and the players work better together over the next five years of this agreement.