We made it.
BREAKING: Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor deal, sources tell ESPN. While it still needs to be ratified by both parties, that is expected to be a formality, and when it is:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 10, 2022
Baseball is back.
Formalities remain, but Thursday afternoon’s proposal from the league was accepted by the MLBPA’s 38 voting members — thirty team representatives, and eighth members of the union’s executive subcommittee. By a final vote of 26-12, the players agreed to the terms of the deal, which now returns to the owners for ratification. (That’s the formality, since it was their proposal in the first place.)
While big changes are coming, the most pressing pieces of news involve the confirmation of a 162-game season in 2022, with the postponed games re-integrated into the schedule by means of 9-inning doubleheaders and a three-day continuation into October.
Beyond that, there is plenty to discuss. The playoffs will be expanding to 12 teams this season — presumably, three division winners and the next three best records, with some wrinkle on byes or ghost wins as incentives for first-place teams.
Numerous financial considerations dominated the negotiations, specifically the thresholds on the Competitive Balance Tax, league minimum salary, and a new bonus pool for eligible pre-arbitration players. Both parties agreed to kick the can down the road on an international draft, which requires a long-term plan to be in place by the summer lest the union want to re-absorb the qualifying offer next winter.
Universal DH will be implemented this season, so keep an eye out for your Nelson Cruz rumors.
Some final details in new CBA, per source:— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) March 10, 2022
* $50M pre-arbitration bonus pool
* Minimum salary of $700,000 in 2022, increasing by $20K per year
* CBT $230M in 2022, rising annually to $233M, $237M, $241M, $244M
* 6-pick draft lottery
* Universal DH
* 12-team expanded postseason
Next year, more in-game changes such as a pitch clock, larger bases, and a shift restriction sound like they will be coming into play.
As for rule changes... Beginning in 2023, a committee comprised of four active players, six members appointed by MLB, and one umpire, will be tasked with adopting changes to playing rules such as a pitch clock, base size, defensive positioning and automatic ball/strike zone.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) March 10, 2022
Exact details on all of the above will be coming out shortly, but for now — grab your peanuts, grab your crackerjack, and get ready for some Dick Bremer geography lessons.
BASEBALL IS BACK!