Baseball’s unprecedented streak of labor peace will continue. According to multiple reports, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association have agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The new deal covers five years. Baseball has not had a work stoppage since the 1994-95 strike, and it took the game a few years to truly recover from that. Think Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa , PEDs and corked bats.
The current CBA was set to expire at midnight last night. That was not a hard deadline but neither MLB nor the MLBPA wanted to drag this out longer than necessary. The owners floated the possibility of a lockout. I couldn’t imagine another lock out. I for one love baseball way too much.
There were a few minor changes including the luxury tax threshold, which will now be set at $195M for 2017, so an increase of $6M from 2016. The threshold will then rise to $197M, $206M, $208M, and $210M in subsequent years. The tax rate is 20% for first time offenders, 30% for second time offenders, and 50% for third time offenders. Teams with a payroll in the $250M range will be taxed at upwards of 70%. (I hope I got that right) This is good for teams like the Yankees who have the cash to spend. Another change is no more international draft. Instead, teams will have a hard cap of $5M to $6M for international players each signing period.
Two more changes worth noting…Turns out there will not be a 26th roster spot or any other roster changes after all. There will still be 25-man rosters and full September call-ups. I do which they would have limited the call up amount. A team plays April to August with 25 men and the last month their allowed 40. Doesn’t seem right. And last but not least, Starting in 2018, the season will begin midweek to accommodate more off-days during the summer. That will mean of course starting the season a bit earlier, like the Wednesday or Thursday a week earlier. More snow on opening day?
Thier will be baseball. 73 Days till Spring Training!
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