Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement on Thursday, ending the league’s 99-day lockout and saving a 162-game season, they told The Associated Press. ESPN sources familiar with the situation.
With the end of the second-longest work stoppage in game history, spring training camps begin Sunday, free-agent signings and trades abound, and baseball tries to return to a semblance of normalcy after months of tense talks.
The deal materialized after talks intensified this week, with the league making a proposal that bridged the significant gap in the competitive balance tax, a key issue in the final stages of talks. A dispute over an international draft threatened negotiations and prompted the league to “schedule” two more series on Wednesday, but those issues were resolved Thursday morning and the league submitted a full proposal to the union, which voted to accept the draft. proposal.
The basic agreement governs nearly every aspect of the game, but baseball’s central economic issues were front and center in the labor negotiations. In addition to the luxury tax measure, the minimum salary for players with less than three years of Major League service will increase from $570,500 to $700,000, increased to $780,000, and a $50 bonus fund will be distributed million among the younger players who have not yet reached salary arbitration.
MLB had pushed to expand the postseason to 12 teams, a plan the MLBPA agreed with. Additionally, player uniforms will feature advertising for the first time, with patches on jerseys and decals on batting helmets.
Other elements of the agreement include:
• A 45-day window for MLB to implement rule changes, including a shot clock, a ban on special defensive formations and bigger bases in the 2023 season
• The National League will adopt the designated hitter
• A lottery draft implemented with the intention of discouraging ‘tanking’ (losing on purpose)
• Draft selection incentives to discourage manipulation of service time
• Limit the number of times a player can qualify for the minor leagues in a season
Talks on a new basic agreement began last year and inched toward the Dec. 1 expiration of its previous version. The league and union made little progress in the preceding months, and Manfred locked out players shortly after midnight on December 2. A 43-day gap in negotiations ensued, and by the time the scheduled opening of spring training rolled around in mid-February, the gaps between the sides were significant enough that the possibility of losing regular-season games was made. stronger.
Manfred’s cancellation of Opening Day a week ago upset the players, who, after a 2016 deal that had drastic financial consequences, had intended to make significant financial gains beyond 2022. Player salaries have declined over the last four seasons despite surging revenues that topped an estimated $10.7 billion in 2019. The significant increase in franchise values, which have nearly quadrupled in the last two basic deals, became a scream of war for the players.
At the same time, the league, satisfied with the current economic system, rejected the massive profits that the players had hoped to make. Giving up at the front of the CBT allowed him to push through smaller annual raises, and while guarantees for younger players totaled around $100 million, the game’s no-cash system allows teams to spend less on older players to balance the costs. additional.
In the end, baseball, a game still seeking resonance in a world of sports and entertainment with endless viewing options, ended up avoiding the doomsday scenario of a prolonged work stoppage that wipes out a large chunk of the season. Now comes a hectic free agent period that will see the star shortstop Carlos Correathe first baseman Freddie Freemanthe shortstop Trevor Storythe pitcher Clayton Kershawthe third baseman Chris Bryant and others sign juicy contracts. The Oakland Athletics could trade the first baseman matt olsonto third base Matt Chapman and various starting pitchers.
And while Opening Day on March 31 won’t happen, baseball will return in early April with the hope of five years of labor peace, five years of prosperity and five years to erase the ugliness of this winter.
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There will be baseball in 2022! MLB and players reached an agreement