Practice fields remain empty as pitchers and catchers are not starting spring training workouts as scheduled as the Major League Baseball lockout enters its 77th day and will prevent pitchers and catchers from taking the field for the first time since October as the Los Angeles Angels facility is quiet Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

MLB lockout talks resume in Florida as openers threatened

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball’s negotiations to salvage opening day resume at a new venue Monday: Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida.

Colorado Rockies CEO Dick Monfort, chairman of the owners’ labor policy committee, was expected to join a management delegation that includes Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem, the clubs’ lead negotiator.

Bruce Meyer, the union’s chief negotiator, was expected to be joined by players. The site of negotiations is about 3 miles from the home of New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer, among the eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee.

The ballpark usually would be the spring training home of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals at this time of year, but workouts failed to start on time last Wednesday due to baseball’s ninth work stoppage, its first since 1995.

Monday’s session will be just the seventh on core economics since the lockout started Dec. 2, and the sides have met on consecutive days just once, on Jan. 24 and 25. MLB said Friday that it intended to have meetings with the union every day in the coming week.

The lockout enters its 82nd day Monday. MLB on Friday canceled spring training games from Feb. 26 through March 4.

While owners and players have participated by Zoom, the only ones to attend a session in person have been Monfort and free-agent reliever Andrew Miller, on Jan. 24.

Until now, all talks during the lockout had been in New York at the offices of MLB and the players’ association.

MLB told the union that Feb. 28 is the last possible day to reach an agreement to allow openers on March 31, given the desire for four weeks of workouts and additional time to ratify an agreement and have players report to camps in Florida and Arizona.

But the sides agreed to less training time after disrupted spring trainings in 1990, 1995 and 2020.

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