The world keeps spinning and the 2022 Marlins season is tentatively scheduled to go on as planned, but for the first time since the 1994-95 players’ strike, we are in the midst of an MLB work stoppage. Commissioner Rob Manfred and the MLB team owners were “forced to commence a lockout” Wednesday night as a result of the league’s expired collective bargaining agreement. Per Evan Drellich of The Athletic, this is the fourth lockout in MLB history and its ninth overall work stoppage of some kind.
Manfred posted an 800-word letter to baseball fans here. Unfortunately, it is rife with misleading information suggesting that the MLB Players’ Association is at fault for this. Here is the MLBPA’s brief response to the lockout announcement.
In reality, the owners and the players’ union both approached the CBA expiration with a lack of urgency. It is been apparent for years that the players would be seeking seismic changes to their compensation structure and new ways to incentivize the owners to make their teams competitive, yet reporting by Evan Drellich and other insiders details how little the two sides spent negotiating directly with each other. They have a toxic relationship, to put it mildly.
Prior to the lockout, the Marlins traded with the Rays to acquire reliever Louis Head in exchange for a player to be named later. They returned to the same well for infielder and 2021 AL All-Star Joey Wendle, sending outfield prospect Kameron Misner back to Tampa Bay. They packaged right-hander Zach Thompson with prospects Kyle Nicolas and Connor Scott to obtain Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings. On “Lockout Eve,” the Fish held a press conference to celebrate their free agent signing of outfielder Avisaíl García—four-year, $53 million contract that includes a fifth-year club option—and extension with Sandy Alcantara (five years, $56 million plus sixth-year club option). In the process, Miami bid farewell to frustrating familiar faces Jorge Alfaro, Lewis Brinson and Magneuris Sierra.
I have to admit, the Marlins were off to a good start, getting quality, complementary players at efficient prices. But now a transaction freeze is in effect for the foreseeable future. At a minimum, they will need additional outfield and bullpen help prior to the start of next season to be taken seriously as a threat to contend.
I am bracing for a lengthy lockout (multiple months) that pushes up against the normal rhythm of spring training. Hoping to proven wrong about that. This sport is in a healthy position and it’d be a shame to allow greed to exacerbate the delay and erode the fans’ excitement.
In the meantime, be aware that outlets like MLB Network and MLB.com are properties of the league. They will not be presenting balanced views of the CBA talks. Fish Stripes is determined to navigate the B.S. to keep you updated on what’s really happening and how proposed ideas from either side would impact the Marlins.
We will continue to provide detailed Marlins coverage throughout the stoppage and are also always eager to hear from you via comments and FanPosts.