Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
If not for the MLB lockout, the Los Angeles Dodgers would be days into full-squad workouts and on the verge of beginning their Cactus League schedule this weekend.
Although MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) are meeting every day this week in effort to get a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in place. The league reportedly informed the union it considers Feb. 28 a deadline for the CBA to avoid Opening Day being pushed back from March 31.
The upended offseason has created an array of challenges for players, but Cody Bellinger is understanding of the drawn-out negotiations. “It’s extremely unfortunate, but things have to get done, and we all know that,” he said.
“Hopefully things get figured out here and we can get going.”
Since Bellinger’s comments, the start of Spring Training games were delayed at least until Saturday, March 5. And though player salaries don’t get paid until the start of the regular season, Bellinger did reach some security by signing a one-year, $17 million contract before the lockout began.
Bellinger’s career has seen him rewarded financially but he is understanding of other players who haven’t enjoyed such benefit.
“There’s things in the system that need to be fixed, and that’s what we’re working towards,” he said of a new CBA. “Hopefully both sides can work together, see the big picture and what’s important. That’s getting the game going. Things have to get dialed in first before we can do that, and then guys will be ready to go.”
Bellinger not concerned with shortened Spring Training
At best, players figure to have one month’s worth of Spring Training to prepare for the season. That could prove somewhat problematic for pitchers, but Bellinger doesn’t anticipate much of an adverse affect on a personal level.
“I’ve always thought spring was a little too long. Position-player wise, different than a pitcher, I would imagine,” he said. “I don’t know how pitchers do it, especially if you’re in the East Coast and it’s cold outside.
“Personally, I’d say a month. A little less than a month (is needed). Like I said, working out in Arizona you’re able to face guys, see some bullpens.”
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