Last week, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players' Union agreed to a five-year extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The deal made significant changes to the draft and to free agency, and sent everyone scrambling to figure out what the changes meant.
Luckily, we here at Twinkie Town are experts in labor relations, union negotiation, contract law, and legalese. We've combed through the new CBA, and we've found some very surprising provisions that have yet to come to light.
- Any team employing Barry Zito gains the right to have one designated team employee, other than a member of the on-field coaching staff, punch Barry Zito in the face on every payday.
- As part of the new international signing rules, teams wishing to pay more than $1 million for a posting fee for a Japanese player will be forced to sit through five hours of Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Kei Igawa videos, then sign a release acknowledging that they are doing a stupid thing and will not complain about it later.
- All amateur players wishing to join the Players' Union will have to write a letter thanking union officials for giving away their contract negotiation rights for nothing, and will also have to make three separate public statements about how things were better in the good old days and kids these days make too much gol'-durned money.
- All players must submit to off-season HGH testing unless they, quote, "don't feel like taking the test."
- Appendix D contains a non-binding joint statement from both players and owners about how they're both already sick of hearing about Bryce Harper.
- All 29 non-Boston major-league clubs have agreed to provide both fried chicken and beer in the visitors' clubhouse prior to every game against the Red Sox next year, because it's mildly hilarious.
- The Rule 5 Draft will, effective immediately, start making some sense.
- Major League Baseball will quit referring to the draft as the "First-Year Player Draft" so that they don't sound like fuddy-duddies out of 1946.
- Effective immediately, all of Bud Selig's statements will be made by somebody who doesn't remind you of your great-uncle who has lost his glasses on the top of his head and is searching wildly around the room for them.
- The league has agreed to either organize a meaningful international competition or write a ten-page, single-spaced paper detailing why they can't manage something that's less insulting to our intelligence than the World Baseball Classic.
- All players who are eligible for "Super 2" arbitration status will have the option of wearing a cape in the field.
- Teams will have to make a "qualifying offer" to impending free agents in order to receive draft pick compensation. While this offer must meet the average of the 125 highest-paid players in baseball, these teams will also be allowed to slap Brian Cashman across the mouth for skewing the numbers.
- Teams will be allowed to have 26 players on the roster for some doubleheaders, or 27 if they're still busy granting Drew Butera his Make-A-Wish Foundation wish to play big-league baseball.
- More teams make the playoffs, according to Section 9 of the agreement, which is titled "How The Season Means Less Now".
- The worst teams and the poorest teams will be entered into a lottery for extra draft picks, while all Pirates draft picks will be entered into a lottery for a spot working on a road crew in the Australian outback where they don't have to play for the Pirates.