Wednesday is a crucial day for baseball and a big day for the New York Mets. The collective bargaining agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. ET, at which point the owners are expected to lock out the players, beginning baseball's first work stoppage since the 1994-95 players' strike. When the lockout will end is anyone's guess.
Earlier on Wednesday the Mets introduced their four recent free agent signings -- Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar, Starling Marte, and of course Max Scherzer -- beginning with Scherzer, a member of the MLB Players Association's executive subcommittee. Scherzer is in Dallas as part of the last-minute bargaining sessions between MLB and the MLBPA.
"Hearing the tone in negotiations, the lockout seems like that's a very likely scenario, let's say that," Scherzer told reporters, including ESPN's Joon Lee and The Athletic's Britt Ghiroli, during Wednesday's press conference. "... First and foremost we see a competition problem. As players that's absolutely critical to us to have a highly competitive league. When we don't have that, we have issues."
The union has sought to eliminate anti-competitive behavior (i.e. tanking) for years and the upcoming CBA is their best opportunity to make sweeping changes. Right now losing is incentivized through high draft picks and whatnot. The opposite needs to happen -- winning must be incentivized -- to fully eliminate tanking, though that will difficult to accomplish in one CBA.
Scherzer and the MLBPA are also seeking more money for younger players, the players' teams are relying on more and more with each passing year. MLB wants an expanded postseason field (to create more revenue), among other things. Baseball is a $10 billion a year industry and how that $10 billion is distributed is the No. 1 issue during CBA negotiations.
This past season Scherzer, 37, went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA and 236 strikeouts in 179 1/3 innings with the Nationals and Dodgers. and is one of eight players on MLBPA's executive subcommittee along with Zack Britton, Jason Castro, Gerrit Cole, Francisco Lindor, Andrew Miller, James Paxton, and Marcus Semien.