Sources – MLB players’ association met on Thursday for the first time since lockdown began on Dec. 1

Major League Baseball and the players’ association met Thursday for the first time since owners locked out players while the sides negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, sources familiar with the talks told ESPN.

The conversations covered several non-essential economic issues such as scheduling, grievance procedures, special events, and/or drug and domestic violence policies.

Negotiations on the major stumbling blocks to a new deal won’t take place until the New Year, but there’s a chance to build momentum on some of the smaller issues by then.

Revenue sharing between clubs, the arbitration process and years spent in the league in free agency are several of the main economic issues that led to the lockout.

The last collective bargaining agreement expired on December 1, with the owners opting to lock players in until a new agreement was reached. The ruling prohibits players on 40-player rosters from communicating with team personnel or using team facilities. At the time, Commissioner Rob Manfred said the lockout was not punitive, but rather a way to inject urgency into negotiations, which are expected to resume in January.

Andrew B. Reiter