Start the countdown: 16 days until pitchers and catchers report, or are expected to report for Spring Straining.

When it began back on Dec. 2, MLB and the MLBPA had 119 days before the start of a new season to figure things out. As the clock ticks down to Opening Day -- now just 59 days away -- without a new collective bargaining agreement in place, the two sides have put everything in jeopardy.

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Normally, baseball is in motion as the calendar flips from January to February. Teams are packing trucks to deliver equipment to spring camps while players and coaches are beginning their journeys to Arizona and Florida. Visas are being secured for foreign players and housing arrangements for the next couple of months are being finalized. Pitchers are ramping up their throwing programs while hitters are doing the same in the weight room.

But this year, all of it is on hold.

"I had a couple setbacks to getting ready for the season, so it's just tough gauging whether I need to push it and get ready or take my time," free-agent reliever Steve Cishek said in a phone conversation. "The unknown, like the COVID season, is the hard part."

The MLBPA is prepared for an extended lockout, with $5,000 checks going out to players this week for the month of February. But the players themselves still have to prep for the season even with the start date of spring training, and possibly Opening Day, increasingly uncertain.

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