Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is hopeful an agreement on a new labor contract will be reached before the current deal expires Dec. 1.
Negotiators for management and the players’ association have been meeting in New York this week. The 2006 contract was announced during the World Series and the 2011 agreement on Nov. 22.
“There are certain natural deadlines that kind of flow around the end of the World Series and then through the expiration date of the agreement,” Manfred said Wednesday before Game 2. “Each of the last couple of times we’ve either gotten it done during the World Series or a few days afterwards. I remain optimistic that we’re going to be in that same window in terms of getting it done.”
Primary issues include luxury tax thresholds, management’s desire for a draft of international amateur players, changes in schedule rules to ease travel and international play such as regular-season games in London. Baseball has not had a work stoppage since the 1994-95 strike that led to the cancellation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.
Left-hander Giovanni Soto was claimed by the Oakland Athletics off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. Soto was designated for assignment Saturday to open a spot on the 40-man roster for slugger Kyle Schwarber, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list following knee surgery in April.