MLB & Players’ Association Reach Agreement on New Labor Deal
Ratification Friday! After four months of a head-scratching labor battle that had me swinging for the fences with catchy updates, the chains have finally been broken. The MLB owners unanimously voted to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement on Thursday, officially ending a 99-day lockout and saving a full season. Baseball’s second-longest work stoppage in league history is finally over. Here are all the details you need to know.
Opening Day (April 7)
The 2022 MLB season will officially begin on April 7, and the league will still have a complete 162-game schedule. The mandatory Spring Training report date for all clubs is this Sunday, and exhibition games will begin March 17.
CBA Details to Know
The minimum salary for players with less than three years of service time will increase from $570,000 to $780,000, plus a bonus pool of $50 million distributed to younger players. The postseason will expand to 12 teams. Player uniforms will feature advertisements on jerseys and helmets. There’s also a draft lottery to discourage tanking. In addition, a number of rule changes could be implemented, including pitch clock changes, larger bases, ban on shifts and the universal designated hitter.
Discussions about an international draft process are ongoing. Although international draft rules were not part of the CBA, the league and MLBPA agreed to a new deadline to establish draft rules by July.
Free Agency is Open
As baseball goes back to business, the floodgates reopen on MLB free agency. Hot names like Freddie Freeman, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Nelson Cruz, Jorge Soler and Nick Castellanos are still available, not to mention pitchers like Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
Baseball is finally done with the shenanigans. Let’s play ball!
Photo: Al Bello / Getty Images