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Everything Padres fans need to know about Major League Baseball’s labor negotiations

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FAQs regarding MLB’s potential lockout...

World Series - Atlanta Braves v Houston Astros - Game One Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

You might have heard that Major League Baseball could enter a “lockout” if they don’t come to an agreement on a new CBA by December 1. But, you might not be sure what that would mean for the league and more specifically, the San Diego Padres.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered below with a primer on what’s going on and what could happen:

What is the CBA?

The CBA is known as Major League Baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. The CBA essentially is an agreement between the league/owners and the players on how the league will be run for a certain amount of time. Some things included in the agreement are rules, travel protocols, salaries/contract structures, roster sizes, and free agency key dates. Each CBA usually goes for five seasons before needing to be re-agreed upon.

The Players Association have the intent of the CBA in writing on their website: “The intent and purpose of the Clubs and the Association (hereinafter “the Parties”) in entering into this Agreement is to set forth their agreement on certain terms and conditions of employment of all Major League Baseball Players for the duration of this Agreement. Each of the Parties acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of the other party and agrees to discharge its responsibilities under this Agreement.”

The players and the league need to come to agreement on the next CBA by December 1 or else there is going to be a lockout. A reason why a lockout could very well occur is because of money. An aspect of the “money” that might delay an agreement could be a possible salary floor for all 30 clubs. The players likely want a salary floor because it would force small market teams to spend more money (to put into the pockets of players) while the league/owners probably don’t want any salary floor because it would force rebuilding teams to spend money on players that would help them win instead of help them lose so they could get a better draft pick.

Why does an agreement need to be reached by December 1?

An agreement needs to be reached by December 1 to avoid a lockout because that is when the current CBA expires. Once that CBA expires, then the league and players don’t have an agreement in place about how to go about contracts and the games themselves, among other things. This would mean that the players and teams probably aren’t going to agree to any deals because they don’t know anything about rules or payroll structures.

For example, Nelson Cruz might want to sign with the Padres but since there isn’t an agreement between the league and players regarding roster construction, Cruz and the Padres don’t know if there’s going to be a designated hitter implemented. Both sides would want to wait until a decision regarding the DH is made so that the agreement makes sense for both sides.

What would happen during a lockout?

Nothing...except CBA negotiations. Like I just mentioned above, there’s no structure or rules in place so until that happens, it wouldn’t make sense for transactions to be done. Once the players and the league can put their egos aside and come to an agreement, then we can all get back to talking about why we actually love the offseason: the possibility of acquiring players.

How could a lockout affect the Padres and their offseason?

Well, if a lockout were to occur, then the Padres would have to put their offseason on hold. An offseason, by the way, that has a lot of questions for A.J. Preller to answer. Is Eric Hosmer going to be the first baseman come Opening Day? Will there be more rotation depth added behind Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, Blake Snell, Mike Clevinger, and Chris Paddack? How will the Padres choose to replace Mark Melancon? Is Tommy Pham returning?

All of those questions will have to be put on hold until the roster and payroll structures are agreed upon.

With that said, the lockout could end in a good result for the Padres. For example, if a designated hitter is implemented across Major League Baseball, then that would allow the Padres to use Hosmer as the DH or, preferably, go out and get someone like Cruz or Kyle Schwarber to put into an already talented top of the lineup.

A lockout is probably going to happen so it’s just a matter of how long the lockout will be.