Okay, I don’t know how close baseball really came to a lockout as reported and discussed over the past 10 days. But assuming there was at least a remote possibility of a lockout, baseball dodged that bullet when owners and players agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement Wednesday evening.
Ken Rosenthal was the first to break the news with the simple and succinct Twitter announcement, “Source: CBA is done”. The new agreement will be in place for 5 years, and runs through the 2021 season. While an official announcement was being prepared, the following details were reported (these came mostly from Twitter and the MLB Network, and may change when the official announcement is released):
- There will be no international draft. Instead, a hard cap on bonuses for international signings will be in place. Each team will receive the same amount, estimated to be in the neighborhood of $5M. At least one exemption for Cuban players who are at least 25 years of age and have six years of Serie Nacional experience.
- The “soft cap” on salaries was established for the Luxury Tax limit, and will increase for the duration of the agreement.
- It will be raised from $189M to $195M for the 2017 season.
- $197M for 2018,
- $206M for 2019,
- $208M for 2020, and
- $210M for 2021.
- New penalties for exceeding the cap have been instituted –
- surpassing the cap the first time triggers a 20% tax,
- 30% for a second year, and
- 50% for a third.
- Exceeding the cap by $20M-$40M incurs an additional 12% tax.
- Exceeding above $40M incurs a maximum penalty that can reach a 90%.
- Roster size will remain at 25 players. September expansion remains at a maximum of up to 40 players.
- Baseball’s controversial Qualifying Offer was subject to several modifications.
- After the 2017 season, teams will not lose their first round pick when signing a player who declined his QO.
- A player can only receive a QO once.
- A team only receives draft pick compensation if a player who declined a QO signs for at least $50M.
- Most teams will receive a “sandwich pick” between the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
- A team over the luxury tax threshold that loses a QO FA would receive a pick following the 4th round.
- Market size of the team losing the FA determines the draft pick compensation.
- If the team losing the QO FA is among the 15 smallest markets, comp pick follows the first round.
- Teams over the soft cap (luxury cap) will lose their 2nd and 5th round picks in the Rule 4 Draft, PLUS $1M of international signing money.
- Teams under the soft cap will lose their 3rd round pick.
- A player must still be on team for an entire season to be eligible for a QO.
- The QO will continue to be determined by average of the top 125 salaries.
- The Athletics will be phased out as a revenue-sharing recipient over the next 4 years.
- Starting in 2018, additional off days will be inserted into the schedule by starting the season mid-week.
- New MLB players will be banned from using smokeless tobacco. Those players already in the majors will be grandfathered in.
- The “performance factor” element (a revenue sharing multiplier) of the revenue-sharing system will be removed, thus decreasing the amount the large budget teams are paying into the pool.
- MLB intends to schedule regular season games abroad as early as 2018 (likely to be in London and Mexico City).
New details announced this morning during Hot Stove:
- Home field advantage for the world series will go to the pennant winner with the better record instead of the pennant winner from the league that won the All Star game.
- The 15-Day Disabled List will be reduced to a 10-Day DL.
- The international signing rules will NOT apply to Japan and Korea. The posting of players from those leagues/countries will remain the same.
By the way, I learned from watching Myth Busters that “dodging a bullet” is not possible. Busted.