Commissioner Rob Manfred indicated a lockout could be coming to MLB upon the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.
Manfred met the media at the owners meetings on Thursday and discussed the ongoing CBA negotiations.
"An offseason lockout that moves the process forward is different than a labor dispute that costs games," Manfred said, per The Athletic's Evan Drellich.
Industry insiders on both sides of the CBA talks have anticipated a lockout for months. The CBA expires Dec. 1 and there's no indication a deal is close or will be done before that deadline.
A lockout would bring a transactions freeze until an agreement is reached.
Baseball has not had a work stoppage since 1994, which started with a players strike that August and finished with a lockout. All said, it cost a chunk of the '94 season, including the World Series, and the start of the 1995 season.
Manfred was asked about a hypothetical lockout and reflected on the damage of 1994's dispute costing games.
Manfred said no decision has been made to lock out the players.
"We’re focused on making an agreement prior to Dec. 1," Manfred said, according to Drellich.
Although Dec. 1 is fast approaching, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf spoke of the truism it often takes a deadline to strike a deal during an interview with NBC Sports Chicago in October
“Look, these deals get made the last week,” Reinsdorf told NBC Sports Chicago's Gordon Wittenmyer. “It’s the same thing with players’ contracts in arbitration. They all settle the last day.”