Red Sox baseball is back as MLB lockout finally comes to an end
The Boston Red Sox will be back to playing baseball soon
Boston Red Sox baseball is back! Following months of frustration that saw Major League Baseball lock out their players to delay training camp and threaten the start of the season, the sides have tentatively agreed to a new labor deal.
It’s fitting that Passan is the one who broke the news considering his Twitter account had been hacked earlier in the day, preventing him from relaying updates as negotiations went down to the wire. A wild twist to a frantic afternoon.
The day was an emotional roller coaster with MLB setting yet another artificial deadline to apply more pressure on the players to accept a deal. An agreement was in striking distance once the owners agreed to put negotiations regarding an international draft on hold until later this year.
Pessimism began to creep back in shortly after the 3:00 p.m. ET deadline when reports leaked that MLB’s executive subcommittee was against the deal but 26 of the 30 owners ultimately voted in favor, which was enough to get the deal done. The Mets, Astros, Cardinals and Yankees were the four teams that voted against, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Mark Feinsand reported on MLB Network that spring training games will begin either March 17 or 18, giving teams about a week to prepare for the exhibition schedule. Many Red Sox players are already gathered in Fort Myers to begin workouts so they shouldn’t be too far behind in their routines.
Opening Day is set for April 7, about a week later than originally planned. MLB will extend the calendar by a few days and make up the remaining difference by scheduling nine-inning doubleheaders.
It’s unclear if the schedule will be rearranged in the wake of this agreement. The Red Sox were initially going to open the season hosting the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles for a pair of three-game sets at Fenway Park to open the season until MLB cancelled those series as part of a ploy to gain leverage in negotiations. Those games are back on the schedule with MLB agreeing to a full 162-game season as part of today’s agreement but they might tack some of those games on at the end while making up others as doubleheaders.
If that’s the case, the Red Sox could open the season in the Bronx on April 7 for a series against the New York Yankees. The delay might almost be worthwhile if it means a rare opportunity to kick off the season with baseball’s best rivalry.
Free agency is expected to reignite tonight. With a shorter training camp and less than a month to go before Opening Day, we could see a flurry of free agent signings over the next few days.
The Red Sox still have holes to fill on their roster but expect Chaim Bloom to be ready when the league gives the green light for free agency to restart.
It’s been a long and exhausting journey but our long national nightmare has finally ended. I’ll say it one more time – baseball is back!