It’s the first MLB work stoppage since a 1994

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Major League Baseball owners and players failed to reach a deal on a new work agreement, triggering a lockout — the owners’ version of a strike. It’s the first MLB work stoppage since a 1994 strike cut the season short and canceled the World Series.

The league acknowledged in a statement yesterday that it had used two different balls, blaming production difficulties caused bythe pandemic.

The sides have about two months before spring training to try to resolve their differences over pay structures and other issues. For now, the lockout halts offseason roster trades like free agency signings and some minor player preseason work.

Owners say the players’ demands for better pay for younger players would hurt their ability to stay competitive. As NPR’s Becky Sullivan reports, teams have been leaning on younger, cheaper players over whom they have more control. The median salary has dropped about 30% since 2015, according to the Associated Press.

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