After a 99-day stand-still during the Major League Baseball lockout, Opening Day 2022 is scheduled for April 7. The Boston Red Sox will face the New York Yankees in the season’s first game.
MLB’s lockout ended on Thursday, March 10, after MLB and Major League Baseball Player’s Union (MLBPA) finally reached an agreement.
Sports betting in Massachusetts is currently illegal. However, politicians and officials have spoken out heavily about its potential in the state, especially during major sporting events like the Super Bowl.
What did the votes look like?
The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) passed with an overall vote of 26-12.
On the MLB side, 26 teams voted in favor of the agreement and four teams voted against it. On the player side, the MLBPA executive council was unanimously opposed to the agreement in an 8-0 vote.
The Yankees were among the four teams that voted “no” to the new agreement between MLB and MLBPA. The three other teams that voted against the proposal were the Cardinals, the Astros, and the Mets.
The four opposing team votes weren’t enough to stop the CBA from passing. It’s worth mentioning, though, that all four teams are directly connected to one of the eight players on the committee who all voted against the terms.
Even so, once the initial vote passed the agreement, all 30 teams voted in favor of ratifying the CBA and it became official.
How are the Red Sox feeling about the CBA?
The new CBA’s increased threshold on the competitive balance tax can only stand to benefit the Red Sox. They’ve spent good money on top-tier talent in the past. Being able to spend even more without penalty is great news, and doing so could benefit their roster.
Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy has not addressed the CBT threshold increase, nor has he said whether the Red Sox will be in a place to exceed it this season.
Kennedy has, however, expressed that he’s glad to be able to speak with players again. After a 99-day lockout where staff was prohibited from contact with players, he calls it a “huge relief.”
“We’re now looking forward and cannot wait to get going. This is exactly what needed to happen,” Kennedy said. “We’re thrilled the players and the owners have come to an agreement that’s going to work for both sides. We can take our sport forward, which is what we desperately need.”
Yankees have to scramble to get the season in order
While the Yankees voted against the new CBA, its official passing means the lockout is over and they need to work on their roster. After all, Opening Day is just a few weeks away, and the Yankees will be headed to the Bronx to face the Red Sox.
Before the lockout ended, the Yankees still needed to fill various spots like shortstop, center field, and first baseman. Free agency opened at 6 pm on the Thursday night that the agreement was reached.
Red Sox are in better shape
On the other hand, the Red Sox appear to be in a stronger position, especially after what seems to have been a scramble the evening after the agreement passed.
“It’s a crazy time in baseball operations,” said Kennedy. “There were text messages and e-mails flying until about 1:30, 2:00 [in the] morning related to talks with agents and deals.”
Prior to the lockout, however, the Red Sox made some preliminary moves:
- Traded Hunter Renfroe, outfielder, to Milwaukee and gained Jackie Bradley Jr.
- Signed three pitchers: James Paxton, Michael Wacha, and Rich Hill
“You always need more pitching depth. That’s for sure,” said Sam Kennedy, Red Sox CEO. “We have some great young talent there but we need more pitching.”
More recently, the Red Sox signed shortstop Trevor Story, who had spent the previous six seasons with the Colorado Rockies. The two-time All-Star possesses top-tier power and speed for his position. He signed a six-year deal worth $140 million.
Kennedy also alluded to more depth needed in the outfield and the infield. However, he added he wasn’t concerned about time constraints as the season’s beginning fast approaches.
“We’ve got a little bit of time here. It’ll be a sprint. We’ve got the resources. It’ll be an exciting couple weeks here as we head toward Opening Day.”
Will sports betting be legalized during the MLB season?
Despite plenty of support for sports betting, it’s unlikely we’ll see sports betting legalized in the immediate future. This is especially true after Sen. Michael Rodrigues, chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, walked back comments that seemed to support sports betting.
For now, Massachusetts residents must go to other states in order to bet on the Red Sox and other local teams legally.