While the frequency of talks between Major League Baseball and the Players Association picked up Wednesday, the pace of progress continued to be sloth-like and the likelihood of a 162-game season grew dimmer.
For the first time since the owners directed Commissioner Rob Manfred to lock out the players on Dec. 2, the sides spent a third day in a row at the bargaining table. But MLB addressed only one of several core economic issues up for discussion, according to sources familiar with the meeting at a spring-training ballpark in Jupiter, Fla., and took what amounted to a baby step in the players’ direction before engaging in a bit of brinksmanship.
The parties are expected to meet again Thursday, with the players set to volley a revision to their latest proposal. In a meeting with reporters, an MLB spokesman doubled-down on the league’s Feb. 28 deadline by which a collective bargaining agreement must be reached to avoid pushing back a March 31 opening day and canceling games.