MLB, Players Union Agree to New Collective Bargaining Agreement

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed between Major League Baseball and the Players’ Union, and both sides have agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that has a few changes in store for baseball not only in America, but all over the world.

While the CBA still needs to be ratified by both owners and players, the five year agreement came hours before the deadline that would have caused the beginnings of a work stoppage, including curbing the Winter Meetings and possibly postponing or canceling next year’s World Baseball Classic.

There are several small yet important changes in this version of the CBA, listed below:

  • No player will receive a Qualifying Offer more than once from a team.
  • There is still no International Draft being implemented; however, there will be a $5 (or $6, spending on the source) million dollar cap annually on international signings per team.
  • There will be no change to the regular season roster of 25, and September rosters will be 40.
  • According to Fox Sports, a team that loses a free agent with a QO will receive a pick, but only if the player receives a contract at least worth $50M. The pick the team receives will depend on its market size, so smaller teams like Tampa Bay or Milwaukee will probably have different thoughts about the QO than, say, a team like the Dodgers or Mets.
  • There is a big difference in luxury tax, with new limits being increased every year for the next few years, culminating in a payroll of $210M in 2021. Next season, the luxury tax will begin at a $195M threshold, which means that Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, and Tigers will be over the limit to begin the season.

There are still a few details to be hashed out; league minimum salaries are still be discussed as well as personal responsibility clauses as pertaining to domestic violence and substance abuse. There appears to be a change in start times for get away games and the season will start a few days earlier to allow for more off days for teams during the season. There will also be an increase in food allowance for each team as well.

And then there’s this from Ken Rosenthal, my brother in height:

This, along with the forever logjam at or whatever they are calling the stadium these days, does not bode well for the future of Oakland as a baseball town.

All in all, not too much has ultimately changed in the game, other than Manfred undoing Bud’s stupidest legacy of making the All Star Game decide home field advantage for the World Series.

9 thoughts on “MLB, Players Union Agree to New Collective Bargaining Agreement

  1. “And possibly postponing or canceling next year’s World Baseball Classic.”

    Really depressing to hear the WBC going down just like that. This tourney/event made me a Baseball fan, I started following the NPB and KBO leagues because of this… I really want this Classic to continue for more years to come.


    1. Ren, it’s not going away. Prof just noted that if the league and players had not reached an agreement, the Classic might have been postponed. However, since an agreement has been reached, you can continue to hold and cuddle your beloved World Baseball Classic like some big Mutya Barbie, rescued from mere conceptualization:


      1. Too bad about that. I loved watching those players impaled and wriggling on their QOs like beetles in a bug collection.

        (Don’t mind me. I just turn sadistic this time of year as the elevators fill with shitty music.)


        1. Obviously, you need to avoid elevators as much a possible, no? Or wear noise cancelling earphones when out and about. Or barricade yourself at home until the season has passed, and they go back to their previous awful music.


        2. It’s true, that. Each mid-January, when Bing Crosby and his digitized simulacra fade from the lift speakers, what replaces them always does seem to be just a little worse than what they were playing up until the previous late November. A little more Ann Murray. A little more Olivia Newton John. A little more Kelly Clarkson. A little more (shudder) Neil Diamond. Expiring copyrights, maybe.


  2. I had hoped they would make adjustments to the stupid service time rules. Also make some drastic instant replay reconfiguration. I in no way expected a work stoppage as it would have benefited no one, but I am also very shocked it seems the owners got very little of what they wanted and seemed to cave on just about everything. Additionally I’m surprised there were no changes to the league wide drug policy procedure after all that happened with Alex Rodriguez. The Qualifying Offer system now seems like it completely swung from a system every team used on everyone to a system that no team will use except for few superstars. That they didn’t fix the September roster expansion is a missed opportunity.

    Minor league players got completely screwed here. This was a good opportunity for the union to make a point on the pathetic wages being assessed and even opting to donate a portion of their membership dues (with maybe a league matching system) to help fix this system. Clearly no one cares about them. What a shame.


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