With the offseason officially here and teams now free to sign players from other teams, we should be anticipating a winter of moves and changing roster. But as we all know, that is not the big overarching theme of the offseason. Instead, labor negotiations hang over the entire winter and figure to do so until the CBA questions are answered. The current collective bargaining agreement expires on December 2, and if the two sides do not agree to a new deal by that point then the owners will enforce a lockout and everything will be paused. That potential is the topic of this edition of SB Nation Reacts.
Will there be a lockout?
Honestly, I am surprised this number is not higher. All indications, at least what we have heard publicly, is that they are not going to find enough common ground over the next three weeks to avoid a lockout. Now, anything we hear publicly is done to strengthen one side’s negotiations, and I suspect the possibility of a lockout will be much scarier the closer we get to that fateful date. I don’t think it’s impossible that they’ll go without a lockout like some seem to, but I still would say the chances are better than not that there will be one in some form or another.
Will it cut into spring training?
This is the big question, and where I think I’m more optimistic than many others. I actually am of the mind that they are going to be able to get something done before they miss spring training. Now, like I said I do think there will be a pause somewhere, but I think it will only last a few weeks, and the two sides will come together out of necessity before they actually affect things on the field. Is this wishful thinking? Probably, but it’s feasible at the very least.