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Owners and players ‘deadlocked’ amid MLB games delays

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The 2021 Opening Week logo is painted on the field during the game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Chicago White Sox on Opening Day. AFP

Owners and players ‘deadlocked’ amid MLB games delays

Major League Baseball’s latest negotiations with players yielded little progress on Sunday, sparking fears that the start of the season could be further delayed.

MLB has already cancelled the opening round of fixtures in the 2022 season, which was supposed to start on March 31.

Owners and players met for less than two hours on Sunday but made little progress on the economic issues that separate them.

“We were hoping to see some movement in our direction to give us additional flexibility and get a deal done quickly,” MLB spokesman Glen Caplin said in comments reported by USA Today.

“The Players Association chose to come back to us with a proposal that was worse than [last] Monday night and was not designed to move the process forward. On some issues, they even went backwards.

“Simply put, we are deadlocked.”

MLB locked out players on December 2 after the previous collective bargaining agreement expired.

At the time MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the lockout was to increase the sense of urgency in negotiations, although weeks passed before talks began on how to split the profits from billions in revenue.

Issues under discussion include when players can become eligible for salary arbitration and the size of a pre-arbitration bonus pool.

The sides have also been divided on minimum salaries, luxury tax rates and thresholds, a union proposal to have clubs reduce revenue sharing and playoff expansion.

The two sides are expected to meet again soon, perhaps as early as Monday.

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