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MLB extends deadline as sides inch closer

Could we have baseball soon?

MLB: Lockout The Palm Beach Post-USA TODAY NETWORK

We knew when MLB set Monday, February 28 as the deadline to reach a new deal on a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that it probably wasn’t a hard deadline; it was always a possibility that it got extended. What we didn’t know is if they would have a reason to extend it.

Turns out they do.

After meeting with the Players Association all day on Monday, and into the early hours of Tuesday, MLB extended the deadline for a deal to 5:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 1, giving the sides an extra day to negotiate before games start getting canceled.

The extended deadline is a good thing, because it means not only that the sides are getting closer, but that there’s an honest-to-goodness push to get a deal done. MLB has been negotiating in bad faith through much of this process, but now does seem willing to actually hit the bargaining table and potentially make some concessions.

It’s clear that the sides are far closer than they’ve been at any other stage in the negotiations, though it’s equally clear that they remain far apart. A resolution on Tuesday — which would mean a San Francisco Giants game on March 31 — is very much on the table, but also very much not guaranteed.

And while the owners are finally making some concessions, it still brings up a core question for the players: do they accept some concessions, or hold out for the stronger deal that could really shape the future of the sport?

And if you want some details on some of the sticking points, well, here you go:

We could go to bed tonight knowing that there will be baseball games played at the end of the month. What a concept. I’m not sure my heart is ready.