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MLB Lockout Begins As Players, Owners Fail To Reach New Bargaining Agreement

NEW YORK (CBSMiami/CNN) — Baseball's annual winter meetings have been canceled for the second straight year amid a Major League Baseball lockout which went into effect early Thursday when players and owners failed to reach a new bargaining agreement.

It's the MLB'S first work stoppage in 26 years.

The lockout will prevent players from using team facilities as well as free agents from signing new contracts until a new CBA is reached.

In a letter to fans, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said: "Despite the league's best efforts to make a deal with the Players Association, we were unable to extend our 26 year-long history of labor peace and come to an agreement with the MLBPA before the current CBA expired. Therefore, we have been forced to commence a lockout of Major League players, effective at 12:01am ET on December 2."

The MLB Players Association released a statement, saying in part: "This shutdown is a dramatic measure, regardless of the timing. It is not required by law or for any other reason. 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."

It's unclear how long a work stoppage will last. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in mid-February with Grapefruit and Cactus League play set to open on February 26. Opening Day is scheduled for March 31. But both of those require a new CBA to be in place.

The Hall of Fame's Golden Days and Early Baseball committees still intend to meet in Orlando to debate and vote on Hall candidates.

Last December's winter meetings, scheduled for Dallas, were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

(©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)

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