The 2021 World Series is underway between the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros, and here’s hoping that it goes a full seven games because it might be the last time we see Major League Baseball for a while with the collective bargaining agreement up between the owners and players’ union soon. It’s basically a lock that there will be work stoppage starting December 2.
MLB 2021 | Preparing for lockout on December
Negotiations between the league and the union began last spring, however neither side believes the other has made proposals that would make a deal possible in the coming weeks. It is no secret that MLB and MLBPA are on very different pages regarding what the upcoming CBA should look like and the two sides have not hidden their disdain for one another. When negotiations about a shortened 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic broke down, it served as a microcosm of the tension between players and owners.
Why December 2? In recent times, each CBA has covered a period of five years. The current one, for instance, was ratified in December 2016 and governed the 2017-21 seasons. It expires at 11:59 p.m. ET on December 1.
An owner lockout is likely once the current agreement expires, as it would ramp up the pressure to get something done and also hit pause on free agency. It would be the ninth work stoppage in MLB history and first in 26 years. It that lockout drags on then the offseason calendar could become all too compressed for a normal run-up to the 2022 season. The MLB winter meetings are going to be canceled any day now.
Teams have proposed eliminating salary arbitration, lowering the luxury tax threshold, setting a payroll floor, and allowing players to become free agents in the offseason after they turn 29.5 years old, replacing the six-season guidelines in place since 1976.
Padres Looking At Ozzie?
One of the most popular and polarizing MLB managers in recent history was former White Sox and Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen and there’s a chance he could return to the dugout with the San Diego Padres next season. The team has interviewed him.
Guillen had a .524 winning percentage with the White Sox and a 12-4 postseason record, including a four-game sweep of the Astros in the 2005 World Series. He was cast aside by Chicago after a 78-82 record in 2011 and managed 2012 with the Marlins, going 69-93.
The Padres, who entered the 2021 season with lofty expectations, failed to reach the playoffs after a 79-83 regular season. They fired manager Jayce Tingler after two seasons on the job. The team has thus far cast a wide net to replace Tingler, interviewing former Mets manager Luis Rojas, former Cardinals manager Mike Shildt and former Angels manger Mike Scioscia.
Rojas was not surprisingly brought back by New York after a disastrous second half of the 2021 season. Shildt was shockingly fired by the Cards despite making the playoffs. Scioscia managed the LA Angels from 2000 to 2018 and remains the winningest manager in the club’s history.
Former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley is a consultant and part owner of the Padres. O’Malley’s two sons and two nephews are the owners of the Padres. Scioscia was a player of the Dodgers from 1980 to 1992.
Another possibility is current Braves third-base coach Ron Washington, but he can’t interview until the Braves are done in the World Series. Washington checks a lot of relevant boxes for the Padres in that he has managerial experience — eight seasons’ worth, with a career 52.1 winning percentage and two World Series appearances; he has a connection to San Diego GM AJ Preller from their shared time with the Texas Rangers; and he interviewed for the Padres job the last time it was available.
After two first-time managers, the next Padres skipper seems likely to be one with proven big-league experience, prepared to lead a veteran clubhouse that underperformed down the stretch.
San Diego should be an NL pennant contender next season even off a 79-83 finish that left them outside the playoff picture for the 14th time in 15 years. The Padres’ biggest issue in 2021 was their lack of starting pitching depth. When the injury bug bit, San Diego didn’t have an answer.