Baltimore Orioles’ players and their counterparts across the league were officially locked out as of midnight this morning. The previous collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 PM last night. So now we enter an abyss of sorts.
In short, the owners are “locking the players out” of the facilities. Meaning that no work can be done. This means that free agency, trades, winter meetings, and the Rule 5 Draft are all canceled or postponed.
Most of this affects league operations more than anything else – for now. Previous lockouts have not affected regular season games being played, although the start of the 1990 season was deferred a bit. If this goes on to the point that regular season games are affected, that’s when it becomes critical. That’s when baseball the business could be doing irreparable harm to baseball the game.
The good news is that the negotiations will continue. They could come to a deal at any time – or not. Hopefully they’re able to come together for the good and the love of the game. Because the alternative would be UGLY.