This is what distinguishes fans discussing theoretical situations from the people who make the decisions and spend the money. If you sign players that you can't afford and cut later, you still spent money that you can't get back and didn't get value out of. That's bad business, and especially in this economic climate, owners aren't going to go on rash spending sprees. Yes, of course real labor discussions haven't started yet, they never start until they have to. When the owners opted to cut the deal short, they were bringing the date up faster, which means that negotiations will have to get down to business sooner, rather than later. No, of course we can't be sure that it will or won't happen, but that's precisely why owners aren't going to spend as if it's an uncapped year.