Major League Baseball told the MLB Players Association that the two sides need to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement by Monday, February 28, in order for the season to begin on time.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that news Thursday, and Evan Drellich of The Athletic confirmed the date.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the sides "intend to hold multiple bargaining sessions" next week in advance of the Feb. 28 deadline. 

Pitchers and catchers were supposed to start reporting Tuesday, but that did not happen with MLB locking the players out sans a new agreement. The lockout began on Dec. 2, 2021, after the previous CBA expired without a new one in place.

Spring training is currently scheduled to begin February 26, but as Nightengale wrote, that appears "all but impossible" at this point.

Drellich added that it's "unclear" if MLBPA agrees that Feb. 28 is the right cut-off date, but he also noted that "there cannot be much wiggle room, a few days at most." Drellich further wrote that four weeks of spring training are needed to ramp up for the season.