My goodness, if this is what it was like to walk 100 days in the desert and finally reach that oasis, I’d do it time and time again. Baseball is back pending a last-minute Grinch to pull the rug out from underneath. I am elated. Owners will have a call at 6 EST to ratify the vote. Free agency will commence IMMEDIATELY after. –Matt Blaker
The wait is finally over, and while I’m still mad at the MLB for having a lockout at all, I’m just relieved to have major league baseball back in our lives! That was a frustrating experience, but this CBA should last about five years before I need to find another sport to watch. –Ryan Fay
Here’s the rundown
- Opening day is April 7th!
- March 13th mandatory report for Spring Training.
- Full 162 game schedule. Full 162 games of pay. Doubleheaders will be added to fit the schedule, along with three days at the end of the regular season schedule in order to fit the whole schedule in.
- Doubleheaders will be 9 innings again.
- No runner on 2nd base to begin extra innings.
- Expanded playoffs starting in 2022 (details to come on this).
- Universal DH.
The new CBA will also include:
- Competitive balance threshold set at $230 million and expected to rise to $244 million
- Increased minimum salaries
- Pre-arbitration bonus pool for a top percentage of young players
- A raise in the competitive balance tax threshold
- A draft lottery (new to MLB and the widest of the four major sports, if not all of professional sports)
- Prevention of service-time manipulation
- And limits on the number of times a player can be optioned (shuffled between the big league and the minors) in a single season.
What’s on deck?
As part of the agreement, the league is also looking into the details of an international draft. Moving forward, in 2023 there will be a new joint competition committee to make decisions on rule changes that will be implemented after giving teams 45 days of notice. This committee will be comprised of four active players, six members appointed by the MLB, and one umpire. Some of the first things the committee will look at include:
- A pitch clock in 2023 (to speed up the game)
- Base size (to promote stealing/the running game)
- Defensive positioning (i.e. potentially eliminate the shift and increase offense)
- And an automated strike zone (to keep the strike zone consistent)
As soon as the new CBA is ratified, the free-agent market is going to be insane with over 200 players available. It’s mindboggling to think of how far we’ve come over the last 100 days and the news is about to come in fast. For the latest action, follow Matt Blaker on Twitter @MattBlaker83 and myself (Ryan Fay) @prof_spoopy for more baseball updates as they come in!