The MLB season is right around the corner. A few weeks ago, it looked like the 2022 MLB season would be pushed back and postponed.
Then, the players and the owners worked tirelessly to find an agreement on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and finally struck a deal. After that, free agency kicked off, and many MLB teams spent money like never before.
But, while fans and players are rejoicing at the return of baseball, All-Star pitcher Max Scherzer revealed the true state of the MLB lockout and admitted it took a toll on him and his family.
Mets pitcher Max Scherzer revealed the true nature of the MLB lockout
Scherzer had been heavily involved in the labor negotiations the entire time and was one of the player representatives all the way through. He knows what it was like to be down in the trenches to try and come to an agreement — and it wasn’t a very enjoyable time.
As Spring Training kicks off and Scherzer aims for his Mets regular-season debut, he spoke in great lengths about the MLB lockout (h/t Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic).
“My family, it was too much of a price, of a toll. To do it right, you have to put in a lot of hours and I’m not going to put in the hours with my family now (again).”Max Scherzer on the MLB lockout conversations
Scherzer also added that “it was awful” and expressed the frustration of having to go back at it repeatedly until the agreement came down.
The players and owners spent days, weeks, months trying to figure out a solution. It came down to minor details at the end, and everybody just wanted baseball to return.
Once the two sides missed the deadline, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the cancellation of a couple of regular-season series.
Then, things got serious. Once the regular season games began to get axed, both sides knew drastic measures had to be taken.
It wasn’t pretty, and Scherzer’s comments about the toll it took on him and his family must have been widespread for everybody involved.
For that reason, the Mets star mentioned that he would not participate in the next CBA if he is active at that time. Scherzer and veteran hurler Andrew Miller were among the most active participants from the player’s side, and their role played a massive part in the return of baseball.
But Scherzer won’t be going down that road again and uttered two simple words when asked about it: “Absolutely not.”
The sudden agreement sent free agency into a wild frenzy that we have never seen before
After the two sides reached a deal on the new CBA, free agency immediately began. Yet, agreements weren’t reached right away, although it didn’t take long for the big names to find new homes and get a ton of cash.
Eventually, the big market names found homes.
Freddie Freeman headed West to join the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kris Bryant signed with the Colorado Rockies. Carlos Correa stunned everybody by joining the Minnesota Twins and Trevor Story went to the Boston Red Sox.
Nick Castellanos left the Cincinnati Reds in heartbreak and became a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, and Kenley Jansen left the Dodgers to sign with the Atlanta Braves. The list goes on and on, and the delay of Spring Training and sent free agency into a tight window.
Usually, the MLB offseason is spaced out quite a bit and some players wait to sign new deals. This time around, there was no time for any of that. With Spring Training beginning, players needed to sign the contracts and get to know their new teams before Opening Day.
Some players, such as Scherzer, agreed to deals before the MLB lockout. Others waited until after, and for more than three months, nothing was discussed as the state of baseball remained up in the air.
Nonetheless, the urgency of free agency made for the most exciting time in baseball in recent memory.
All in all, Scherzer and others worked tirelessly for the MLB lockout to be lifted. Because of that, we can have a 2022 MLB season — although a bit later than usual.