MLB strikes into lockout

The first Major League Baseball (MLB) lockout occurred in 1972 in response to players striving for an increase in pay following the expiration of the league’s three-year pension agreement. The league went on strike again in December 2020 and while it was recently lifted, MLB has brought up numerous issues after seeking to improve the necessary welfare of the players.

Similar to the lockout in 1972, the cause for the recent strike was due to the expiration of the MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement (MLB CBA), which ended on Dec. 1, 2021. The agreement was set between the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) and the MLB which entailed the rules of employment and the financial structure of the game. 

In beginning the lockout, players wanted a chance to address the decline in revenue to individual players as well as other issues. One of these issues includes players wanting more financial security when they sign a new contract. The MLB CBA, for example, is infamous for reportedly making contracts for players to sign that include language and dialect that is difficult for anyone to read, who is not thoroughly experienced in law.

The new CBA includes changes such as more pay for players in the early stages of their career, which addresses the issue of younger players only being paid the league minimum despite how well the player performs overall. The new CBA additionally changes the player format to 12 teams; which is two teams less than the players had hoped, however the players will receive more pay compared to the previous season’s 10-team player format.

While the reason for the extended amount of time taken to work out the agreement is yet to be determined, fans and players alike have commended the team’s advocacy for equal pay.