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Baseball is Back: An Overview of the new CBA

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Sit back and soak it in fellow baseball fans, our beloved sport is back.


The 99 day lockout came to a halt on March 10th, as the MLB and MLBPA came to an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement to save the 2022 season.


There are already deals being announced, and many players have already reported to their respective training camps. It’s a good feeling to see these things come to fruition, and the frenzy of transactions is only getting started.


Despite the good news, a lot of work went into getting to this point, and it’s important to look into the details that the latest CBA carries.


Here are some key details about the newest Collective Bargaining Agreement:


Length


  • This year’s CBA is good for five years and will expire after the 2026 season.


In-game changes


  • Ban on defensive shifts.

  • Implementation of a 14-second pitch clock with no runners on.

  • Introduction of larger bases across the diamond.

  • Universal Designated Hitter.

  • Elimination of the second base runner to start extra innings.

  • Elimination of seven-inning doubleheader games.


Postseason


  • The postseason format will be expanding from 10 total teams (five per league) to 12 total teams (six per league). The top two division winners will receive a bye in the first round, with the remaining four teams playing in a best-of-three wildcard series (with the third division winner automatically getting the top seed in the wild card round).


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  • MLB will be adding uniform and helmet advertisement patches.


Amateur draft


  • A lottery will now be implemented to decide the order of the top six draft selections, with only non-postseason teams eligible to participate.

  • Draft reduced from 40 rounds to 20.


Minimum salary


  • Increasing from $570,500 to $700,000 this year, $720,000 in 2023, $740,000 in 2024, $760,000 in 2025 and $780,000 in 2026.

  • For minor league players signing their first minor league contract, the minimum rises from $46,600 to $57,000 this year, $58,800 in 2023, $60,300 in 2024, $62,000 in 2025 and $63,600 in 2026.


Service time


  • A full year of MLB service will be awarded to players who finish in the top two of Rookie of the Year voting in each league, so long as they are a top 100 prospect and didn’t spend the full season on the major league roster.


Luxury tax


  • The first penalty threshold rises from $210 million to $230 million in 2022, then $232 million in 2023, $236 million in 2024, $240 million in 2025 and $244 million in 2026. The second threshold stays at $20 million over the first, the third $40 million over the first, and a newly introduced fourth threshold that is $60 million over the first.


Pre-arbitration bonus pool


  • A new bonus pool for pre-arbitration eligible players, who will now split $50 million. This will count equally among all teams for the luxury tax, and its allocation will be based on WAR according to a management-union committee.

  • An eligible player would get $2.5 million each for an MVP or Cy Young award, $1.75 million for finishing second in voting and $1.5 million for finishing third, and fourth and fifth would each receive $1 million along with an all-MLB team appearance. Winning Rookie of the Year would net a $750,000 bonus and second place would bring in $500,000 along with making the all-MLB second team.

  • It’s worth noting that players who overlap and win more than of these are subject to only one reward, which would be the highest paying one.


Free agent compensation


  • Direct amateur draft-pick compensation will be eliminated pending on an agreement on an international amateur draft.

  • A team losing a free agent will receive draft-pick compensation based on revenue-sharing status and whether they have surpassed the luxury tax threshold.

  • There are four tiers of compensation for free agents who spent the whole season with their former club:

    • A revenue sharing payee with its free agent player commanding $25 million in guaranteed salary or $18 million in average annual value would receive a third round pick.

    • A revenue sharing payee with its free agent player commanding $55 million in guaranteed salary or $23 million AAV would receive a comp B pick, and a team not paying luxury tax in this situation would receive a third round pick.

    • A revenue sharing payee with its free agent player commanding $100 million in guaranteed salary or $30 million AAV would receive a comp A pick, a team not paying luxury tax in this situation would receive a comp B pick, and a team paying revenue sharing would receive a third round pick in this situation.

    • A revenue sharing payee with its free agent player commanding $150 million or $40 million AAV would receive a comp A pick and a third round pick, a team not paying luxury tax in this situation would receive a comp A pick, and a team paying revenue sharing would receive a comp B pick in this situation.

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