MLB: Major League Baseball and the Players Association reach an agreement

MLB and the Players Association reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement on Thursday, ending the league’s 99-day player lockout and salvaging a 162-game season, according to Jeff Passan reports. of the network ESPN.

With the end of the second-longest work stoppage in sports history, spring training camps will open on Sunday.

The deal came to fruition after talks intensified this week, when the league made a proposal that closed the significant gap between the two sides over the competitive balance tax.

The Players Association executive board approved the deal by a vote of 26 to 12, pending ratification by all players, a person familiar with the ballot said.

This person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been authorized.

Major League Baseball forwarded an offer to players Thursday and gave them until 3 p.m. to accept it so they could play a full season.

The union announced the players’ vote around 3:25 p.m. The owners planned to hold a ratification vote later in the day.

« The deal moves the sport forward, » said New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole and a member of the Players Association executive subcommittee in a phone interview with the IAAF. Associated Press.

“It covers several things that players should be concerned about: the aspect of competitive integrity. »

The agreement will allow the opening of training camps this week in Florida and Arizona, more than three weeks after the scheduled date of February 16.

Fans can start planning outings to Fenway Park, Dodger Stadium and Camden Yards next month. Opening day is expected to be a week later than the original March 31 date.

The agreement will also trigger a quick round of negotiations with free agents. Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and Kris Bryant are among a group of 138 players looking for a team, including some who could benefit from the advent of the universal designated hitter.

Major League Baseball’s new collective agreement will increase the number of teams participating in the playoffs to 12, and add incentives to prevent “intentional tanking” by teams.

The minimum wage will be raised from $570,500 to around $700,000 and the luxury tax threshold will rise from $210 million to around $230 million this year, a slight easing for higher-spending clubs like the Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox.

A new bonus pool has been created for players who are not yet eligible for arbitration, a way to boost the salaries of young stars.

Commissioner Rob Manfred had set Tuesday as the deadline for reaching an agreement that would preserve a schedule of 162 games as well as all wages and service time required for players to gain autonomy.

The talks went beyond the schedule and Manfred announced Wednesday the cancellation of more games, bringing the total of canceled games to 184 of the 2,230 planned on the schedule.

After another obstacle to the progress of the negotiations, this one related to the desire of the owners to establish an international amateur draft, the agreement in principle materialized Thursday afternoon.

It capped nearly a year of negotiations during which pitchers Max Scherzer and Andrew Miller played an important role as union spokespersons.

“People will be able to return to the stadium. It will help,” Cole said.

“Maybe some of them will come to the stadium to let us know how they feel negatively. It is also their right. I’m going to say that no one wants it to happen like this. And some of the hurdles we had to jump over the past few weeks weren’t necessarily due to ill will, but simply due to a regular process. »

Players will benefit from approximately 28 days of training instead of the 42 days that pitchers and receivers usually enjoy.

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