Deadline looms for baseball players and owners to reach labor agreement – Los Angeles Times

The Montreal Expos were the best team in the major leagues. Bo Jackson was playing left field for the Angels. Deion Sanders was playing center field for the Cincinnati Reds.

That was the state of baseball in August 1994, in the last days before players went out on strike. The players returned the following year — after the intervention of a judge who now sits on the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor — and baseball has enjoyed labor peace ever since.

That two-decade run to prosperity — baseball generates $10 billion per year these days — could give way to a work stoppage this week. The collective bargaining agreement between owners and players expires at 9 p.m. PST Wednesday, and owners have threatened a lockout if a deal is not reached.

While a lockout would not immediately threaten the 2017 season, it could put a halt to the free-agent market and put a damper on next week’s winter meetings. As an alternative, if owners and players believe a new agreement is within reach, the sides could agree to extend the current CBA for a specified time while finalizing a new one.

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