White Sox haven’t made any significant moves this offseason. Could this be due to a looming expiring CBA between MLB and MLBPA?
With the offseason continuing into December, the Chicago White Sox have yet to make a significant move. However, they aren’t the only team to be silent so far this offseason. Other teams have been quiet but that should be expected as we’ve yet to reach the Winter Meetings. But could there be another reason for some inactivity this offseason?
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The current Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the MLB Player’s Association is set to expire this Thursday Dec. 1. Although the Sox haven’t made many moves this offseason, they aren’t alone. The biggest free agent signing has been Josh Reddick to the Houston Astros for four years $52 million.
While there are other big name free agents on the market, some believed the potential of an expired CBA could lead to an upcoming lockout. This could mean a potential halt to free agent signings and trades. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, if the CBA expires, expect business to be conducted as usual.
A lockout most likely won’t happen according to Cafardo as both the owners and players are involved in a $9 billion industry. However, there are some concerns from both sides that could lead to the CBA expiring this Thursday.
"Considering this is a $9 billion industry, common sense says an agreement will be reached. But that’s not to say there aren’t major issues that need to be resolved. And we’re sure not all of them will be. Some will be tabled, but enough should get done to put a new agreement in place."
On the table for MLB and MLBPA is draft pick compensation, revenue sharing, international draft, and draft pool signing limitations. These are items that could take a long time for a new CBA to be signed. But according to Cafardo, MLB commissioner Rob Manfried mentioned at the GM meetings that baseball proceeds under the old CBA until a new agreement is reached. This means the Sox shouldn’t be hurt by a potential expiring CBA.
For Sox fans, this could mean a trade involving Chris Sale could still take place. With the Sox in the midst of potential rebuild, anything halting their desire to trade solid players won’t help them going into 2017. It was rather surprising to see the Sox pass on signing Jason Castro earlier this week. It was suggested that the Sox lack of moves this offseason could be tied up with a pending expiration of the current CBA. It appears now that won’t be the case however.
The upcoming Winter Meetings should present the Sox with more opportunities to rebuild this offseason. Although the CBA could be expired by the start of the Winter Meetings, expect this team to be very active in finding a quality suitor for their best assets.