MLB: Both parties may only have one week to salvage start of season

JUPITER, Fla. – With perhaps a week to save opening day, union executive director Tony Clark attended the talks on Monday for the first time since the MLB lockout began. He was joined by star New York Mets players Max Scherzer, Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo.

Paul Goldschmidt of the Cardinals, Jameson Taillon of the Yankees, Sonny Gray of the Reds, Whit Merrifield of the Royals, Taylor Rogers of the Twins and Brent Suter of the Brewers were also among the players present for the negotiation session at Roger Dean Stadium, the training site vacant spring season of the Cards and Miami Marlins. Clark and the players met Bruce Meyer, the union’s chief negotiator, in the right-field parking lot before entering the stadium.

Colorado Rockies president and CEO Dick Monfort, also chairman of the labor policy committee, was on hand with San Diego Padres vice chairman Ron Fowler, the committee’s former chairman. Commissioner Rob Manfred was absent, and the MLB delegation was led by Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem, the clubs’ chief negotiator.

The site of the negotiations is about 5 kilometers from the home of Scherzer, among the eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee. Jason Castro of the Astros, from the sub-executive committee, also attended the meeting.

Training camps couldn’t start on time last Wednesday due to baseball’s ninth work stoppage, the first since 1995.

Monday’s session was only the seventh on crucial aspects of finance since the lockout began on December 2, and the parties have met on consecutive days only once, on January 24 and 25. MLB revealed last week that it plans to hold meetings with the union every day this week.

The lockout entered its 82nd day on Monday. Major League Baseball on Friday canceled preseason games for training camp from Feb. 26 to March 4.

Until now, all discussions since the start of the lockout had taken place in New York at the offices of the MLB and the players’ association.

Baseball executives told the union that Feb. 28 was the last possible day to reach an agreement to allow the season to open as scheduled on March 31.

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