(CNN)Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that Opening Day has been pushed back until at least April 14 as the league and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) could not reach a deal on a collective bargaining agreement.
MLB cancels more games with labor talks not able to reach a deal
"In a last-ditch effort to preserve a 162-game season, this week we have made good-faith proposals that address the specific concerns voiced by the MLBPA and would have allowed the players to return to the field immediately," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
"The Clubs went to extraordinary lengths to meet the substantial demands of the MLBPA. On the key economic issues that have posed stumbling blocks, the Clubs proposed ways to bridge gaps to preserve a full schedule. Regrettably, after our second late-night bargaining session in a week, we remain without a deal."
The players union said in a statement that canceling games is "completely unnecessary."
"After making a set of comprehensive proposals to the league earlier this afternoon, and being told substantive responses were forthcoming, Players have yet to hear back.
"Players want to play, and we cannot wait to get back on the field for the best fans in the world. Our top priority remains the finalization of a fair contract for all Players, and we will continue negotiations toward that end," it said.
Manfred said another two series are being canceled and Opening Day is postponed again. He has previously said players will not be paid for games that are canceled.
"I am saddened by this situation's continued impact on our game and all those who are a part of it, especially our loyal fans," Manfred said. "We have the utmost respect for our players and hope they will ultimately choose to accept the fair agreement they have been offered."
Representatives from Major League Baseball and the players' union met again Wednesday trying to hash out a new collective bargaining agreement.
A failure to reach a deal last week resulted in the league declaring the first two series of regular-season games canceled and postponing the scheduled Opening Day of March 31.
At issue are disagreements over how to distribute an estimated $11 billion in annual revenue. Owners say they have been battered by shrinking attendance due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and players -- particularly those who are not among the stars of the league -- have seen salaries decline in recent years.
The last major work stoppage led to the cancellation of part of the 1994 season and the entire playoffs -- and a deal reached the next spring produced a truncated 144-game schedule.
Less than a month after the Atlanta Braves were crowned champions at the 2021 World Series, the prior collective bargaining agreement -- which determines players' terms and conditions of employment -- expired, leading the owners of the league's 30 franchises to lock out players until a new deal is achieved.
During the lockout, players aren't allowed on team property and no teams or players may sign new contracts or conduct trades.