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MLB cancels two more series as CBA talks break down

Opening Day won’t happen until April 14 at the earliest.

MLB Owners Meetings Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred cancelled the third and fourth previously scheduled series (through April 14) of the 2022 season on Wednesday as CBA talks between the league and union broke down over a dispute regarding an international draft. If MLB’s previous ultimatums are to be taken at face value — and perhaps they shouldn’t, considering that the league reopened talks on playing a full season after stating that the first two series were cancelled — this breakdown in negotiations wipes out any chance of a 162-game season being played and players receiving full pay and service time for 2022.

For the second straight week, the two sides appeared to have significant momentum towards a new CBA, but MLB’s late emphasis of an issue that was not previously considered prominent caused the union to shy away from a deal. Per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, the league offered the union three options: continuing without an international draft and keeping the qualifying offer process in place, getting rid of the qualifying offer and instituting an international draft, or placing an opt-out for the league in the deal that could be exercised if the union doesn’t agree to an international draft on the league’s timetable.

Per The Athletic’s Evan Drellich, he union rejected all three of those options and instead asked to delay a decision on the issue until Nov. 15 of this year, after which the qualifying offer could be reinstated if the international draft was not instituted. Instead of responding to that offer, the league opted to cancel games.