One of the sub-plots of the current offseason is the ongoing negotiations toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which is the contract that governs the working relationship between players and the clubs.

For a long time, a seamless transition from the current CBA to the next was the next. After all, players and owners have enjoyed an impressive run of labor peace since the upheavals of 1994-95, and commissioner Rob Manfred has enjoyed a strong working relationship with the MLBPA. Now, however, talks may have reached an impasse. Here's the scoop from Fox's Ken Rosenthal:

The owners will consider voting to lock out the players if the two sides cannot reach a new collective-bargaining agreement by the time the current deal expires on Dec. 1, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions.

A lockout would put baseball's business on hold, delaying free-agent signings and trades until a new agreement is reached.

Rosenthal's story has much more, including the remaining sticking points in talks between players and owners. One major issue will be whether the players will agree to a framework for an international draft, which is something the owners badly want in the service of limiting labor costs.

With a little more than a week left before the current CBA expires, there's another possible angle for such doomsaying ...

Indeed, the prospect of a labor stoppage may be getting floated in order to inject some urgency into the process. Again, given that the current menu of issues aren't as divisive as some in the past have been and given the more reasonable approach to negotiations undertaken by Manfred, a labor stoppage would be a surprise. Rosenthal's report certainly isn't a good sign, but it's hardly panic time.