There will be baseball after all.
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association reached a tentative agreement on a new labor deal on Thursday.
The agreements calls for a 162-game schedule with Opening Day set for April 7.
BREAKING: Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor deal, sources tell ESPN. While it still needs to be ratified by both parties, that is expected to be a formality, and when it is:
Baseball is back.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 10, 2022
The deal materialized after talks ratcheted up this week, when the league made a proposal that bridged the significant gap in the competitive-balance tax, a key issue in the end stages of talks. A dispute over an international draft threatened negotiations and caused the league to “remove from the schedule” another two series Wednesday, but those issues were resolved Thursday morning and the league delivered a full proposal to the union, which it voted to accept.
The final vote by the MLBPA’s eight members of the executive subcommittee and 30 player reps was 26-12 in favor of the agreement, sources told ESPN.
MLB.com added more information:
The new five-year CBA is expected to include 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, limits on the number of times a player can be optioned in a season and a 12-team postseason. There will also be the evaluation of an international Draft.
Some key facts:
- Opening Day moves to April 7 and a full 162-game schedule will be played
- Spring training camps open with a March 11 voluntary report date and March 13 mandatory date
- Spring training games start March 17
- Free agency to begin immediately once CBA is ratified
- Playoffs expand to 12 teams, beginning this season
- The National League adopts the designated hitter starting this season