MLB teams have splashed the cash over the past few weeks — see the mega-deals Corey Seager and Max Scherzer signed this week —but that all came to a screeching halt after the current collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

No new CBA means Major League Baseball has entered into its first work stoppage in 27 years. Rosters will be frozen during the lockout and teams will be forbidden from making any transactions or even speaking publicly about major-league players. That means don’t expect the Phillies to sign Kris Bryant or Kyle Schwarber any time soon, Phillies fans ...

The Phillies did make a move before the deal expired, though, signing reliever Corey Knebel to a one-year, $10-million deal. The 30-year-old arrives as the first building block in rebuilding the Phillies’ bullpen, which lost Hector Neris to the Houston Astros on Tuesday. Knebel, who has served as a setup man last season with the Dodgers, was an All-Star closer with the Brewers back in 2017 when he saved 39 games.

It looks like it’s going to be a long winter, baseball fans ...

— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport

Tell us: When the MLB does resume which remaining marquee free agent would you want the Phillies to sign? sports.daily@inquirer.com

» TO YOUR INBOX: Sign up here to get The Inquirer Sports Daily emailed to you every weekday morning

Early Birds

Will Jalen Hurts be ready to go this weekend against the New York Jets after injuring his ankle last weekend?

Ask the Eagles quarterback and you will get an adamant response:

“I’m fine,” Hurts said. “It won’t affect me. I’ll be ready to go.”

One way for the Eagles to get back on track this week, is for Nick Sirianni to continue to lean on his run game, writes KC Joyner.) After a week in which Hurts threw three interceptions, the Eagles should get back to basics and keep the ball on the ground against the lowly Jets.\

Off the Dribble

Tyrese Maxey served as the backbone of the 76ers roster this season while they were ravaged by injuries and COVID-19. But Maxey, who was counted on as a primary scorer when the Sixers were shorthanded, is now adjusting to life with Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris back in the rotation.

The early returns have been mixed as Maxey has struggled to score since Embiid returned Saturday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Maxey went from being the go-to guy to having to get teammates — especially Embiid — involved with the full roster intact. This year Maxey has averaged 22.3 points in the games Embiid missed compared to 14.1 in games with the star center at his side.

We’re early in the NBA season and this is still a small sample size, but Maxey has yet another hurdle to navigate in his young career. Maxey’s struggles continued on Wednesday against the Boston Celtics, as the former Kentucky Wildcat managed just six points on 3-of-13 shooting in an 88-87 defeat.

Next: The Sixers have another rematch Friday with the Atlanta Hawks (7 p.m.), who are fast becoming one of their major rivals.

On the Fly

The Flyers lost their seventh-straight game on Wednesday night, falling to the New York Rangers by a score of 4-1.

To make matters worse, the Flyers lost another player to injury in top-six forward Joel Farabee. The power play also continues to struggle mightily, as the Flyers went 0-3 Wednesday, including failing to score on a 5:00 minute power play. The Flyers are now a horrific 4-for-53 (7.5%) over the last 17 games.

Are changes coming? GM Chuck Fletcher said Tuesday that the quickest solutions lie in the Flyers locker room. Those don’t look to be coming quickly enough, though...

Next: The Flyers get a much-needed break as they are off until Sunday when they host the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning at 6 p.m.(NBC Sports Philadelphia).

Fleet Street

It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Union, after selling off two of their biggest talents, Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie, to teams in Europe. So how did the Union get to its first-ever Eastern Conference final? Here’s a look back at the games and players this season that made the biggest difference.

Next: The Union will play NYCFC in the Eastern Conference final Sunday at 3 p.m. at Subaru Park (6abc).

Extra Innings

The baseball world has been in a frenzy the past few days with massive free-agent spending, trades and other roster adjustments as the clock ticked on the collective bargaining agreement. Without a last-second deal by the stroke of midnight on Wednesday, a work stoppage has returned to baseball for the first time in 27 years. All of that hot stove excitement that kept fans refreshing Twitter to see if their team spent big on a star has come to a grinding halt. How long will this labor dispute last? Is spring training in jeopardy? The start of the regular season? There’s a long winter before then to see if an agreement can be reached.

  • The Phillies beat the deadline and dipped into free agency on Wednesday and might have found their new closer.

Worth a Look

  • End of an era: Joe Juliano has covered Big Five basketball games at the Palestra for over 50 years. On Wednesday, the veteran reporter covered the Villanova vs. Penn game, his final game at The Cathedral of College Basketball before he retires from the Inquirer at the end of the year. The Wildcats won 71-56, as Collin Gillespie scored a season-high 26 points.

  • Replacing Rhule: Temple football is in a bad place after a second-consecutive losing season and firing head coach Rod Carey. The solution? Find the next Matt Rhule, who won 20 games over his last two seasons with the Owls (2015, 2016). The bad news is that is much easier said than done, writes Mike Jensen.

  • All-Big Ten: After producing one of the best seasons by a wide receiver in Penn State history, senior Jahan Dotson earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. Dotson caught 91 passes in 2021, for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns.

  • T for Temple U: After a rocky start to the season, the Temple Owls have rebounded with three straight wins, including a 73-57 victory over Big 5 rivals La Salle on Wednesday. Khalif Battle paced the Owls with 22 points, who also received key contributions from their bench.

Readers react

More readers responded to the possibility of Russell Wilson joining the Eagles than any other Sports Daily question thus far. 65% of respondents were emphatically against the move. Here’s a sampling of views:

Absolutely not! What do the Eagles want with an old has-been like Wilson? —Jill L.

Not with THIS coaching staff! They’d find a way to waste him. —Bob H.

We don’t need another disgruntled, expensive QB. —Donna Z.

Yes! Eagles should bring in a proven champion. —Tony F