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The new MLB CBA: here’s what you need to know

There will not be a labor strike, lockout, holdout, food strike, or any other sort of delay for baseball to resume (on time) in 2017!  MLB owners and the Players Association have agreed on a deal that will put the new CBA in effect for the next five years.  While there weren’t many people who speculated a work stoppage would occur, the player’s union and team owners certainly took their sweet time to reach an agreement. For those that remember, the last (and oh, so brutal) work stoppage was during the 1994 season when the Yankees were among the best in baseball and poised to turn the corner back into baseball prominence — it didn’t happen in ’94, but I think we all know what happened shortly after.

So now that we have a deal in place for the next five years, let’s review some of the highlights that you should know.

Luxury-Tax Threshold

Currently at $189 million, the new threshold will have an incremental increase each year:

2017: $195 million
2018: $197 million
2019: $206 million
2020: $209 million
2021: $210 million

  • Teams that exceed the luxury-tax threshold will lose draft picks in the second and fifth rounds and $1 million in international pool money.
  • If a team does not exceed the luxury-tax threshold, they will lose a third-round pick.
  • When a team exceeds the threshold they are hit with a tax rate of 20% for the first-instance, 30% for the second instance, and 50% for the third instance.
  • According to the AP, there is a 12% surtax for teams $20 – $40 million over the threshold.  Teams that exceed $40 million over the threshold will be hit with a 40% surtax for the first-instance and then 42.5% on the second instance.

Free Agent Compensation

  • Qualifying offers can be extended to free agents, but only one time during their career.  In order for a team to extend an offer, a player must still be on the team for the entire season.
  • When a team loses a free agent who received a qualifying offer, they will obtain a draft pick from the signing team only if the contract exceeds $50 million.
  • Starting in the 2017-2018 offseason, teams will no longer lose a draft pick when signing a premier free agent.

International Signings

The two sides agreed on a bonus pool system that will be between $5 -$6 million.  There will be no international draft.  Cuban-born players with at least six years experience in the Serie Nacional and at least 25 years old will be exempt from the signing pool cap.

Roster Size

There will be no change.  A 26th man was rumored to be added to the roster, but he failed to show his face during the negotiations and will no longer be considered.

More Interesting Notes

  • The MLB All-Star game will no longer determine home-field advantage for the World Series.  The home-field advantage will go back to the team that actually earned it with the best regular-season record of the two pennant winners. (sorry, Bud)
  • The minimum time spent on the disabled list has been reduced to 10 games.
  • Beginning in 2018, the regular season will start in the middle of the week to create a schedule with more off-days
  • Reported by the New York Post, new MLB players will not be allowed to use smokeless tobacco.  Current players will be grandfathered-in and encouraged to spit at the feet of rookies.
  • There will be increased drug testing throughout the season, and players will not be credited with major league service time while suspended, and biomarker testing for HGH will begin in 2017.

That’s the new CBA in a nutshell! We will be sure to add more notes to this article as all the details continue to emerge from the deal.