Coming out of a fairy tale ending to the 2016 Major League Baseball season, the Chicago Cubs defeated all odds and the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the World Series. Before the carriage turned into a pumpkin, Major League Baseball and the players union agreed on a five-year collective bargaining agreement Wednesday night with hours to spare before the old agreement expired. The agreement will promote consistent play through 2021. This marks the first negotiation with Rob Manfred as MLB Commissioner and Tony Clark as head of the Players Union. With many different transactions and revisions there was not a main issue that weighted one side heavier than the other. The final Basic Agreement between the owners and players will not be published for some months as more of the details are ironed out.
Here are some of the big takeaways so far…
— MLB (@MLB) December 1, 2016
The season’s length will stay at 162 games but stretched from 183 to 187 days. There is said to be an interest in an international game being played outside of Canada and the U.S. Locations being considered are London and Mexico City.
New CBA expected to include language providing framework for @MLB to play those games outside of U.S. and Canada.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 1, 2016
The labor deal that just expired stated that teams would be fined for payrolls exceeding $189 million. With the new agreement, it will rise annually in chunks from $195 million in 2017 up to $210 million in 2021. Currently the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers are over the limit in 2017.
The more positive of decisions seems to be about the All-Star Game. The winner of the All-Star game will no longer determine home field advantage in the World Series. The better regular season record will determine the home host.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) December 1, 2016
New Luxury Tax payroll threshold includes penalties increasing for clubs that exceed the limit. It will be assessed for teams with payrolls exceeding $195 million in 2017, up from $189 million this year. It increases to $197 million in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $208 million in 2020 and $210 million in 2021. The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers over the limit in 2017.
Free agent compensation was reworked. Qualifying offers will be based on the average of the top 125 salaries, and can be extended to free agents, but only once per player in his career. During the 2017-18 offseason, teams who sign a free agent under these rules will no longer forfeit a first round pick. If a team has a free agent that rejected an offer, they will receive a pick. The luxury tax threshold will come into play. If a team in the 15 smallest markets loses a free agent who signs for more than $50 million, it will get a pick at the end of the first round. If the team loses a player and they are over the luxury tax threshold, the pick will come after the fourth round. If the qualifying offer signs for less than $50 million, his previous team will get a compensation pick after the second round if they are not over the luxury tax threshold. If it is over, it will get a pick after the fourth round.
There are also reports that new players will be banned from using smokeless tobacco. Any current players active will be grandfathered in.
Heard 1 other interesting CBA detail: new MLB players will be banned from using smokeless tobacco, those already playing grandfathered in
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 1, 2016
The idea for an international draft was dropped Tuesday evening but it wasn’t agreed on. Instead there will be a capped spending of $5-6 million per team for international signings.
The disabled list will be minimized from 15 days to 10.
There is some discussion on the penalties for violating the joint drug and domestic violence policy. More decisions will be made clearer as the final details are agreed on.
With hours to spare, the Collective Bargaining Agreement was pushed into motion and it marks 26 years without work stoppage since the 1994-1995 players’ strike that cancelled the World Series.