NEW YORK — Major League Baseball has canceled the first week of spring training games through March 4 in the first public acknowledgement of the disruption caused by the lockout.
The work stoppage was in its 79th day Friday, a day after economic talks between the management and the Major League Baseball Players Association lasted just 15 minutes.
Negotiators are set to resume talks on core economics on Monday, and MLB said members of the owners’ negotiating committee will attend the session, just the seventh on the central issues of the dispute since the lockout began Dec. 2.
Exhibition games had been set to start Feb. 26 in Florida and Arizona. The Cleveland Guardians say fans who are holding tickets to impacted games will be contacted via email.
“We regret that, without a collective bargaining agreement in place, we must postpone the start of Spring Training games until no earlier than Saturday, March 5th," MLB wrote in a statement on Friday. "All 30 Clubs are unified in their strong desire to bring players back to the field and fans back to the stands. The Clubs have adopted a uniform policy that provides an option for full refunds for fans who have purchased tickets from the Clubs to any Spring Training games that are not taking place. We are committed to reaching an agreement that is fair to each side. On Monday, members of the owners’ bargaining committee will join an in-person meeting with the Players Association and remain every day next week to negotiate and work hard towards starting the season on time.”