(Photo courtesy Philliesnation.com) MLB Lockout
100 days since the start of the MLB Lockout, it is finally over. The MLB and MLBPA finally got their heads in the game and decided to agree to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Baseball will have a full 162-game schedule this season with more memories made in ballparks everywhere.
The terms of the new CBA changed the game in a different way, so it is best to look at each important part and what it means in order to understand what exactly changed.
14-team Playoff: The MLB Playoffs have expanded to 14 teams, seven per league, in what is looking to be a more exciting playoff scheme. This will probably lengthen the playoffs by a few days, but baseball fans certainly won’t complain about more opportunities to go out and enjoy America’s pastime.
Universal Designated Hitter: Prior to this new agreement, the American League would have a DH and the National League had pitchers bat in order to meet the 9-batter requirement. With this agreement introducing the universal DH, pitchers in the National League will no longer have to go up to the plate and bat to fulfill the requirement, as now NL teams will have to designate a player to be the DH for that series. An easier adjustment and a more fun experience for fans at the ballpark, as more dingers will be hit.).
Monetary Notations: The monetary terms for this new CBA goes as follow:
– A collective bargaining tax threshold of $230M in 2023, and peaks out at $244M in the final year of the CBA
– A CBT penalty shall be imposed on teams that start $60M over the threshold to prevent overly stacked teams (too soon to talk about the Dodgers?)
– A minimum salary increase to $700k starting this season and peaks out at $780k in the final year of the CBA
– A pre-arbitration bonus pool will be introduced and set to $50M.
These monetary ceilings and limitations are meant to keep the game of baseball fair and balanced, and to provide fair pay for all 30 Major League teams.
Draft Lottery: The MLB and the MLBPA agreed to finally implement a draft lottery system in the MLB. A draft lottery is basically destined for non-playoff teams to have a specific percentage of getting the top pick and each percentage is determined by where each team finishes in the standings that season. This will introduce a system of some teams trying to push for the first overall pick, while trying to remain within the guidelines and above the floors as to prevent a hardline tank to be undertaken.
To put it simply, baseball is back, and baseball fans everywhere are joyous of the new season. It’s a great time to be a baseball fan, where fans can sit in the stands, buy drinks and hot dogs, and always start the game off by saying those famous two words before the game, play ball!