MLB postpones first week of spring training games


Major League Baseball has postponed the first week of spring training games amid the ongoing league-implemented lockout.

The postponement has looked increasingly likely with little progress in labor negotiations and MLB's unwillingness to lift the lockout — which would allow spring training to commence as negotiations continue.

Spring training officially was delayed this week, as camps were supposed to open with pitchers and catchers reporting.

In a statement released to media on Friday, MLB said spring training games will start no sooner than March 5. The exhibition slate was scheduled to open Feb. 26, with the Cubs hosting the Dodgers and the White Sox hosting the A's in Arizona.

MLB also said in the statement their next negotiating session with the players union is scheduled for Monday, and the two sides are set to meet every day next week in an effort to work out a new labor agreement.

The end of February is seen as the deadline for a new labor deal in order to start the regular season on time as scheduled. Commissioner Rob Manfred has said the league anticipates needing less than a week to open camps after an agreement, and then four weeks for spring training.

Opening Day is scheduled for March 31.

RELATED: Manfred: 'Disastrous' if lockout bleeds into season

MLB's statement also says its teams have adopted a policy that provides an option for fans who purchased games that are now postponed to receive full refunds.

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