Boston Red Sox

Mar 25, 2019; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; On deck mat with MLB logo and gear in the first inning during a spring training game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Toronto Blue Jays at Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

It’s official – Major League Baseball’s Opening Day will not be played as scheduled on Mar. 31. Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement Tuesday evening, shortly after the league’s self-imposed deadline to get a deal done with the players association.

“I had hoped to not have to have this press conference, where I will have to cancel some regular season games,” Manfred said, displaying a relaxed posture as a press conference in Florida. He later clarified the first two series of the year are what are being canceled. For the Red Sox, that would be three home games against the Rays and three home games against the Orioles.

In response, the MLBPA released a statement reading in part, “players and fans around the world who love baseball are disgusted, but sadly not surprised.” You can read the full statement here.

Major League Baseball locked out its players back on Dec. 2, following the expiration of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. However, negotiations between the two sides didn’t begin in earnest until mid-February.

There are a number of issues holding up an agreement, mainly financial. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan Major League Baseball’s final offer to the union – described as their ‘best possible offer’ – has the two sides $30 million off on the CBT threshold, $25K-$50K off on minimum salaries, and shockingly $80 million apart when it comes to arbitration money. These differences come as a shock to many fans, after multiple reports Monday night seemed to indicate the league and players were close to an agreement.

As for what’s next for baseball, that remains unclear. It’s unknown when negotiations will pick up again, with the players union saying it hopes to ‘re-engage shortly.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.