St. Louis Cardinals: CBA May Lead To No Winter Meetings


Fans of the St. Louis Cardinals and teams all around the league look forward to the Winter Meetings.  It is the most action-packed time of any off-season.  Free agency and trades heat up, along with the Rule 5 Draft cherry on top.  This year though, the Winter Meetings may not happen.

Due to the disagreements for the most recent collective bargaining agreement, teams are unsure about attending the offseason extravaganza.  With the current CBA set to expire on December 1st, there could be a lockout in the very near future.  What might this mean for our St. Louis Cardinals?

The Winter Meetings are set to start on December 5 and run through the 8th.  A lockout, then, that starts just four days prior to winter meetings would spell trouble for teams needing to make moves this offseason.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the two main issues on this CBA disagreement are about an international draft and the luxury tax.  Ownerships seem to be at a standstill with these two issues, with resolution off in the distance.

No one outside of the CBA meetings truly knows what is being discussed in regards to the luxury tax.  It could be debating a new limit or larger changes.  As it stands, the luxury tax is set at $189 million per year.  Any team that exceeds that payroll in a given year will receive a fine(or tax) based on how much over they are, and how many years they have been over.

The international draft would replace the bidding wars that go on between teams for players outside of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  Teams would have a chance to draft the rights to the top players in other countries then try to sign them.  No guarantee they sign, of course.

The international draft would be separate from the amateur draft and would only include international players.  This change would give teams three drafts to consider.  Commissioner Rob Manfred believes the draft will better the effectiveness of the restraints on international contracts. This idea has received a lot of push-back causing the process to slow down.

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No Winter Meetings would not be a good thing for the St. Louis Cardinals.  With the Cubs already having their roster all but decided, it is important the Cardinals make moves to be competitive with the reigning World Series champions.

The kind of necessary moves that need to be made would most likely happen at the Winter Meetings.  Any rumor could come true.  Not that the St. Louis Cardinals ownership couldn’t find an outfielder outside of the meetings, but the three-day excitement has the potential to make the wildest rumors come to fruition.

Call it magic if you want to, but the Winter Meetings can be extremely beneficial.  Names like Miguel Cabrera and Jason Heyward have headlined trades and signings in recent memory.

Not to mention the lack of the Rule 5 Draft…  St. Louis has been active in this draft during the last few seasons, most recently selecting Matt Bowman.  They have found success here.  They even added four prospects to the 40-man recently to protect them from other teams.

A lockout would truly hurt the Cardinals.  If the CBA is not reached, who knows how long the lockout could last.  With the season still a ways off, it could not matter that much.  But it definitely will effect the way front offices look to sign players to improve their roster.

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After 21 years of no disputes, the time has come again.  The threats of a lockout are looming leaving the Winter Meetings as a huge question mark.  As fans, all we can do is wait and see what unfolds, and hope too much damage does not happen.