(The Sports Xchange) - With one week remaining before MLB's current collective bargaining agreement expires on Dec. 1, the league and players' union are optimistic about reaching a deal to avoid a lockout.


ESPN.com reports that sources told the website there is "a path to a deal" in place.


Three issues in particular -- the creation of an international draft, eliminating draft-pick compensation for free agent signings and a change to the luxury tax/revenue sharing formula -- stalled recent negotiations.


Owners were preparing to lock out the union if significant progress towards a new CBA was not made by Dec. 1, per ESPN.


While a December work stoppage would not affect games, it would halt offseason activity and freeze player benefits. Both sides are confident an agreement will be in place before opening day in 2017.


(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto.)