Thursday November 30, 2023

Baseball is Back: MLB, Players Agree To New CBA

  • Baseball's lockout came to a close on its 99th day as MLB and its players association struck a new collective bargaining agreement.
  • The new CBA makes substantial changes to the economics of the sport.
Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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After a 99-day lockout, major divisions, acrimony, accusations of bad faith, and two late-night bargaining sessions, the board of the MLB Players’ Association reportedly voted 26-12 to accept MLB’s proposal for a transformative new collective bargaining agreement. 

The 2022 season will have a full 162-game slate for each team, though Opening Day will be delayed by a week. Many of the underlying economic structures of the game will be altered by the deal, which is pending full ratification.

  • The competitive-balance tax threshold — perhaps the greatest source of tension throughout the lockout — has reportedly been raised to $230 million this season, up from $210 million in 2021, and will rise to $244 million by 2026. 
  • The minimum player salary has been bumped to $700,000 from $570,500 and will rise to $780,000 over the next five years.
  • A new bonus pool of $50 million for high-performing pre-arbitration players — who generally play for minimum salaries — has been introduced.

Play Ball!

The season is set to begin on April 7. Between now and then, we are likely to see a nearly unprecedented flurry of signings and trades, as there are still hundreds of free agents left on the market. Five players are predicted to land deals north of $100 million.

To facilitate a deal, the two sides agreed to table discussions for an international draft. Should the draft be agreed to by July 25, the league would remove pick compensation where it currently applies to certain free-agent signings.

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