Today the owners voted 30 – 0 to approve the deal the players’ union agreed to earlier in the day. The players’ representatives weren’t unanimous; their vote was 26 – 12. According to CBS Sports, “The union voted to approve a new proposal by a 26-12 margin (a simple majority, or 20 votes, was all that was required for the new agreement to pass, but it’s notable that the eight members of the executive subcommittee all voted no).”
The deal came to fruition a day after MLB postponed Opening Day until April 14 in the absence of a new agreement and announced that each team’s first four series were removed from the schedule. However, as part of this agreement, a full 162-game schedule will be played, and the four series that were previously removed from the calendar will be rescheduled. The new five-year CBA includes increased minimum salaries, a new pre-arbitration bonus pool to reward the top young players in the game, a raise in competitive balance tax thresholds, the introduction of a universal designated hitter, the widest-ranging Draft lottery in pro sports, a system to prevent alleged service-time manipulation and limits on the number of times a player can be optioned in a season to address concerns regarding “roster churn.”
The deal also includes an expanded 12-team postseason format, bringing playoff baseball to two additional markets each year.
As part of the agreement, a Joint Competition Committee will be formed comprised of four active players, six members appointed by MLB and one umpire. Beginning in 2023, the committee will be tasked with adopting changes to playing rules such as a pitch clock, base size, defensive positioning and automatic ball/strike zone.
The minimum salary jumps from $570,500 to $700,000, the largest single-year increase in history.
The Competitive Balance Tax jumps to $230M from $210M
A new Pre-Arbitration Bonus Pool of $50M will be created from revenue earned from sources like national television rights sales. It will be distributed to the top 100 players based on awards and statistical performance). Examples: “Under this system, NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes would have seen his salary jump from $608,000 to $4.2 million last season, while Rookie of the Year winners Randy Arozarena and Jonathan India would have seen their respective salaries more than triple in 2021.
An International Draft will be instituted. “International Draft would be 20 rounds (600-plus selections), increasing the total compensation earned by amateurs by more than $20 million annually.”
Other rules changes:
Contracts for arbitration-eligible players will be guaranteed.
Top prospects who finish 1st or 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting will receive a full year of service.
Clubs promoting top prospects to Opening Day rosters will be eligible to receive Draft picks if the player finishes in the Top 3 in the Rookie of the Year voting or Top 5 in MVP/Cy Young voting.
Expanded postseason: 12 teams, with the top two division winners receiving a bye.
Universal designated hitter.
Players may only be optioned five times per season.