As MLB lockout ends, when will opening day happen?

Sports

FILE – San Diego Padres left fielder Allen Cordoba passes a logo for Play Ball, an initiative from Major League Baseball and USA Baseball, during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on June 3, 2017, in San Diego. Players voted Thursday, March 10, 2022, to accept MLB’s offer on new labor deal, paving way to end 99-day lockout and salvage 162-game season. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

(NEXSTAR) – A 99-day lockout in Major League Baseball is about to come to an end and a 162-game regular season will happen, according to the league.

The union’s executive board approved the agreement in a 26-12 vote, pending ratification by all players, a person familiar with the balloting said, speaking to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcement was authorized.

Following Thursday’s agreement, the MLB says the 2022 season is on track with opening day set for April 7.

According to the MLB, the collective bargaining agreement must still be ratified by both the players and management before it becomes official. Following this, Spring Training camps can begin, likely on Sunday.

Players will have about 28 days of training rather than the usual 42 for pitchers and catchers.

Opening day was originally scheduled for March 31, but was canceled as management and players continued discussions. When both sides failed to reach an agreement on Wednesday, opening day was postponed until at least April 14.

The league will pick up the existing schedule of games for opening day rather than build a new one, according to CBS Sports. This means the eight games already scheduled for April 7 are the only ones that’ll be playing that day. Teams who aren’t scheduled to play that day will start with a new series on April 8.

In addition to opening day happening in early April, the deal reached allows for a full 162-game season to be played. The season will be extended three days, according to USA TODAY Sports columnist Bob Nightengale.

Four series that were previously canceled will be rescheduled as nine-inning doubleheaders, the MLB says.

The 184 games canceled by Commissioner Rob Manfred were instead postponed, with the regular season extended by three days to Oct. 5. Approximately three games per team will be made up as part of doubleheaders.

In addition to Spring Training finally getting underway, the deal will also set off a rapid-fire round of free agency. Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and Kris Bryant are among 139 big leaguers still without a team, including some who might benefit from the adoption of a universal designated hitter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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