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Baseball’s Back, Baby!

Although there are still some details to iron out, many media outlets report that MLB and MLB Players Association have reached an agreement on a five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. Players will be reporting to camps as soon tomorrow.

Stand-Off Comes to an End

The second-longest MLB work stoppage, which started December 1 of last year, is now over. Many pessimists didn’t believe there was any chance of a deal. Keith Olbermann was one such person.

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But, after making steady progress over the past few weeks, we are now at a point where the 2022 regular season will start on April 7. This is exactly one week after the original March 31 Opening Day. Players could be arriving in camps as early tomorrow.

There have been many stumbling blocks in negotiations, including the latest MLB’s desire for an International draft. The idea is controversial among players; however, it is complicated enough that the MLB decided to separate the issue and allow them to negotiate.

Talks were mainly focused on labor and core economics including salaries for players. The agreement covers all aspects.

What They Agreed On

MLB would have a 45-day window to make rule changes. Here are some additional elements that were implemented in the CBA, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.

General Game Play Rules

  • Pitch clocks will also be used
  • Defensive shifts will be banned
  • The National League will adopt the designated batter
  • In the 2023 season, there will be a larger base

Postseason Rules

  • The postseason will now include 12 teams
  • To start additional innings, there will not be a man at second base

Draft Rules

  • To discourage tanking, a draft lottery will be established
  • Draft picks will be inducted to prevent service-time manipulation

Other Rules

  • Player uniforms will be the first to feature advertising. This includes patches on jerseys as well as decals on batting helmets
  • There is a limit to how many times a player can be optioned for the minor leagues within a single season
  • The 2023 schedule will be balanced because each team will play at least one series in either league

There are, of course, other rules that are included. As is expected, the agreement was reached in order to allow MLB games to begin. However, it doesn’t mean that the two sides have concluded their fighting. MLB and the MLBPA have been locked in a battle for three years. There’s no reason to assume it will have all come to a complete end now.

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Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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