Dragons expect minor league season to be unaffected by MLB lockout

Dragons shortstop Matt McLain throws a runner out at first during Sunday's final game of the season against Fort Wayne at Day Air Ballpark. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

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Dragons shortstop Matt McLain throws a runner out at first during Sunday's final game of the season against Fort Wayne at Day Air Ballpark. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

The Dayton Dragons reminded fans Tuesday their business operations and the 2022 Minor League Baseball season will be unaffected by the lockout at the big-league level. They still plan to start the season on schedule April 8 at Day Air Ballpark against the Fort Wayne Tincaps. That will be the first of 66 home games in a 132-game season.

Major League Baseball shut down at 11:59 p.m Wednesday as the Collective Bargaining Agreement between owners and players expired. It’s the first work stoppage since 1994 when the World Series was canceled.

According a press release by the Dragons, players not on a Major League 40-man roster and not signed to a big-league contract are expected to be in uniform when spring training begins.

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The Reds released a statement clarifying the situation for minor league teams.

“While we remain hopeful there will be a full 2022 Major League season without disruption, the upcoming minor league season will be unaffected,” the statement read. “The Reds will continue to hold minicamps, minor league spring training and extended spring training for players who are not on a 40-man roster, for players who are not signed to a Major League contract and for players who are not Major League free agents. The club will operate uninterrupted its minor league operations in Cincinnati and in Dayton and will continue to invest heavily in the minor league system. As Major League Baseball continues its best efforts to reach an agreement by offering a set of compromises aimed at addressing the Players Association’s stated concerns in a manner fair to both sides, the Reds remain committed to their plan of developing the young talent you soon will see playing in Cincinnati.”

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