Ongoing negotiations between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) over the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will delay the start of the coming MLB season and, as a result, the start of the 2022 Fantasy Baseball UK game too.
The CBA is basically a labour agreement between MLB and the players union, which is renegotiated every so often. The most recent CBS expired on 1 December without agreed renewal terms in place, resulting in the first player lockout since 1990. This means all transactions are halted and players are forbidden from contact with team officials until a new agreement is reached. The ESPN website has a timeline of updates on the negotiations.
After the latest round of talks on 9 March, MLB confirmed Opening Day will take place no earlier than 14 April. The season was originally scheduled to start on 31 March and had already been put back a week before the latest postponement.
The FBUK draft dates for the Yahoo leagues were pencilled in for the evenings of 25-26 March but will now be pushed back in line with the eventual confirmed date of MLB Opening Day. The draft normally takes place the weekend before Opening Day, which at the moment would tentatively put the drafts on the evenings of Friday 8 and Saturday 9 April.
However, we need to wait and see whether there is further postponement before confirming. Given that the eventual confirmed date of Opening Day needs to allow time for players and teams to get reacquainted – and presumably some form of Spring Training – hopefully it should allow time to nail down those all-important FBUK arrangements.
For those taking part in the new salary cap league run through Fantrax, no draft is required.
More information will be put on the FBUK website and emailed out to registered FBUK managers as the situation becomes clearer. As ever, the website Forums are open for discussion.
Meanwhile, the FBUK registration window was extended by a week until Friday 11 March. So far, 110 managers have registered across the three league formats, which is similar to last year’s total of about 120.