MLB In Deep Freeze As Lockout Is Official

The MLB has officially forced a work stoppage on its players, slated to immediately go into effect Thursday (Dec. 2). It's baseball's first lockout since 1990 and an evident sign of long-standing disagreement between the MLB and MLBPA.

ESPN's Jeff Passan announced that the two sides were unable to come to an agreement on a new CBA deal ahead of the 11:59 p.m. (ET) Wednesday night deadline.

The owners voted unanimously to lock out the players, giving them zero access to team facilities and negating player transactions, including free agency deals.

"The Winter Meetings have been canceled for the major league portion of the proceedings. They will continue on the minor league side," Passan said via Twitter.

MLBPA reportedly demanded from the owners "reduced service time for free agency and arbitration"; "increased competitive balance tax threshold"; and "no draft pick compensation for free agent signings," per CBS Sports' detailing of the shutdown. As for the owners, they requested eliminating the qualifying offer system, as well as allowing for playoff expansion, arbitration and a "lower competitive balance tax threshold."

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement to negate the MLBPA's stance in the negotiations that took place Wednesday night for a meager seven minutes.

"We hope that the lockout will jumpstart the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time," Manfred announced.

He added, "This defensive lockout was necessary because the Players Association's vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive. It's simply not a viable option. From the beginning, the MLBPA has been unwilling to move from their starting position, compromise, or collaborate on solutions."

The Players Association countered with their public statement following the lockout Wednesday, alleging the owners of vehemently restricting benefits for the players.

"It was the owners' choice, plain and simple, specifically calculated to pressure Players into relinquishing rights and benefits, and abandoning good faith bargaining proposals that will benefit not Just Players, but the game and industry as a whole."

Without any imminent events circled on the upcoming baseball calendar, the MLB and MLBPA will likely remain at an impasse potentially until February.

Stay tuned with OutKick as the MLB lockdown develops in the coming weeks.

Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela

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Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan. Known for having watched every movie and constant craving for dessert. @alejandroaveela (on X)