PLAY BALL: MLB & MLBPA agree to new CBA

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world where billionaires look to instill their power over millionaires, only to come up in the end breaking even.

What has seemed like a title bout has turned out as nothing more than a backyard school fight amongst best friends. But the one thing that has come from this is: Baseball is back!

In just three days, we will have players reporting to camp… PLAY BALL!

99 – A number that stops short of a century. It happens to be the exact number of days that the owners implemented a lockout that threatened to lose games for the first time since the 1994-95 player strike that erased the World Series.

The baseball world watched in suspense as tax thresholds, arbitration money and minimum salaries were the talk of where players and owners couldn’t come together. So what changed that made the landmark move to bring the new CBA together?

Here’s what you need to know:

March 11: voluntary report for players
March 13: mandatory report date
March 17: start of spring training games
April 7: Opening Day 2022, with a full 162-game slate (O’s will be at Tampa Bay on April 8 to start the season)
Free Agency: now back up and running for all 300 players not yet signed to an organization
Postseason: 12 teams (three division winners, three wild cards)
Universal DH: now the National League will have a designated hitter
Doubleheaders: will go back to original nine-inning format
Extra Innings: no runner on second base to start extra innings

There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to the new CBA. We have returned to normal baseball in the extra-innings, and the doubleheaders are back to the normal game length.

One of the big things to be looking for is how quickly free agency unfolds, with big-name players still waiting to find their next home.

The CBT (Competitive Balance Tax) will rise from $232 to $244 million, giving teams a little more spending flexibility. This is similar to a salary cap, without having the restrictions to hamper what a team can do.

The biggest takeaway is we have labor peace… for now.

We can break out our mitts and empty our wallets to go see our favorite players and teams come together and unite fans once again.

In the end, the one thing to take away and tell Major League Baseball is this: PLAY BALL!

The Baltimore Battery and this writer will have more to update, as the final CBA is ratified. Stay tuned:

UPDATE: The new CBA will cover a five- year period.

Two changes that will have major affects on the competition is a limit on how many times a player can be optioned in a season and manipulation of service time for minor leaguers making their debuts. This will help control roster churning and manipulation.

There will also be a new Joint Competition Committee formed after the 2023 season comprised of four active players, six members selected by MLB and one umpire. This group will be in charge of rule implementations and changes, including items such as pitch clock, larger bases and shift prevention.

The new pre-arbitration bonus pool is set up as follows:

MVP/Cy Young winners: $2.5M
MVP/Cy Young runner-up: $1.75M
MVP/Cy Young 3rd place: $1.5M
MVP/Cy Young 4th/5th place: $1M
ROY: $750K
ROY runner-up: $500K
All-MLB First-Team: $1M
All-MLB Second-Team: $500K
Rest of pool money based on WAR

What do you think of the new CBA? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter! And, make sure to use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content to show your Birdland swag!

Like Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SrHeckman

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