Less than 12 hours before the game's collective-bargaining agreement is set to expire, talks between the league and the union broke off.
The leaders for both sides met for seven minutes at the Four Seasons Dallas at Las Colinas, in what is likely to be the last talks before the league's expected labor dispute Thursday. The league officials left the hotel after the meeting ended and the players were told talks were done for the day.
After months of talks, there was no progress after three days of bargaining. There was hope that the face-to-face meetings would generate some movement.
Some players left the hotel with their luggage, resigned to the implementation of a management tool that prevents employees from reporting to work. It would be the ninth work stoppage in MLB history and the first since the 1994-95 strike if the league imposes a lockout.
Major league players are not allowed to be free agents or trades during a labor dispute. One of the most active periods in the history of MLB free agency, with teams guaranteeing more than $1.6 billion to players thus far this winter, would come on the heels of a freeze.
The game's core economics are at the center of the chasm between the sides. playoff expansion to 12 teams and the ability to put patches on uniforms were included in the union's proposal this week. The players want to get players paid more at earlier ages, fix service-time manipulation, and address tanking.
The league had proposed a 14-team playoffs with an increase of the competitive-balance-tax threshold from $210 million to $214 million, with growth that would increase to $220 million. The union's previous ask was $248 million, but it was reduced to $245 million.
The union rejected the league's proposal to drop certain issues from the talks, including any change of the six-year reserve before a player can reach free agency.
Dan Halem and Dick Monfort, who have led the league's bargaining, left with no plans to return.