The Major League Baseball offseason typically has its highs with trades and free-agent signings and then, of course, the lows of no activity until February, when pitchers and catchers begin to report to spring training. As a fan, I get anxious and search every day through multiple resources looking for highlights and information on the Kansas City Royals. This year has been different and has been boring for the entire offseason as the MLB and the MLBPA are in negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement.
The commissioner of Major League Baseball, Rob Manfred, spoke to the media regarding the negotiations with the Major League Baseball Players Association and the potential of the 2022 season. Manfred stated,
"“I am an optimist, I believe we will have an agreement in time to play our regular schedule. We’re doing everything we can to get a deal done for our fans.”"
He continued to say,
"“You’re always one breakthrough away from making an agreement. That’s the art of this process. Somebody makes a move, and that’s why we’ll make additional moves on Saturday that creates flexibility on the other side, and what seemed like a big gap on this topic or that topic isn’t such a big gap anymore.”"
The Impact on the Kansas City Royals
These negotiations and delays have a significant impact on the Kansas City Royals. KC is scheduled to open the season against the Cleveland Guardians on March 31st at 3:10 P.M. CST. If an agreement is not decided upon, the season could be delayed. Manfred talked about a delay to the regular season and his viewpoint on missing games would be “a disastrous outcome for this industry, we’re committed to making an agreement in an effort to avoid that.”
The Royals are building their team from the minor leagues up, and spring training is a great time to evaluate the current talent within the organization and allow fans to see those players on the field. Baseball is about live repetitions and building confidence, whether it’s fielding your position or standing in the box facing a 95 mph fastball. Those reps are valuable in preparation for a long season. The front office is still deciding on which players will make the opening day roster. There are plenty of opportunities for young guys to steal jobs.
One of the key discussion points in the new CBA revolves around young players and getting them compensated earlier in their careers which is significant for the Royals who build through their farm system. A new proposal will be made on Saturday, February 12th, in hopes of getting the season kicked off on time. Until a deal is finalized, fans will continue daydreaming about warm days, eating ballpark food, and the thought of watching the greatest game on dirt.