The owners and players negotiated past midnight after generating significant momentum toward a deal.
Subscribe now An on-time start to the 2022 regular season was thought by many to be in jeopardy Monday afternoon, but the tenor has changed dramatically following 16 hours of negotiations that brought baseball closer to a new collective bargaining agreement. The owners and players negotiated well after midnight. That was the deadline for a deal to be reached without the loss of regular-season games, but the sides had made enough progress on core economic issues to continue hammering away. The new deadline is 4 p.m. CST Tuesday. Club owners appeared to give in first, making significant movement toward the players on multiple fronts — such as minimum salary and a bonus pool for pre-arbitration players. The sides reportedly agreed to a 12-team playoff format, which was a win for the players after the owners sought 14 teams. The biggest remaining issue is the competitive-balance tax, or luxury tax, though MLB even moved on that. Twenty-three of the 30 owners must approve the agreement. The paperwork needs to be finalized, but the sense is that players and teams can begin mobilizing and that spring training can begin in a matter of days. Opening Day is March 31. The Texas Rangers are scheduled to host the New York Yankees. That actually happening on time seems to be within reach. Give a gift subscription
Busy times ahead
So, it’s going to get crazy at the Surprise Recreation Campus as soon as the lockout ends. Minor-leaguers have been arriving in Arizona en masse since last month, and the front office and much of the big-league coaching staff have assembled as well. Players on the 40-man roster will be flocking to Arizona in the coming days. Their phones will be blowing up as Rangers coaches can finally start taking to the players again. Everyone will have to hit the ground running and get reacquainted on the golf course or at dinner after workouts. In the meantime, the front office will be trying to pin down the final additions to the camp roster. Left-hander Clayton Kershaw remains on the top of the list, but he has to decide if he wants to stay at home with his growing family or if he wants another chance at a World Series in 2022. He won’t get that with the Rangers this season. At some point, the media will get their hands on Jon Daniels, Chris Young and Chris Woodward. And Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and all other players on the 40-man roster. Good times, hectic times, are ahead. Share Jeff Wilson’s Texas Rangers Newsletter
Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR
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