MLB, MLBPA Formally Announce New Five-Year Labor Deal
MLB and the MLBPA this afternoon formally announced a new five-year CBA, calling this "a proud day for baseball." "This is a good day for not only baseball, but also a good day for collective bargaining," said MLBPA Exec Dir Michael Weiner. "Time will tell on all the results of this negotiation, and whether we'll be proud of all the results. But what I can definitely say now is that I am very proud of the process. This is collective bargaining at its best. … This was the first round of negotiations where we could really engage in ideas on how to improve the sport of baseball. And it didn't matter where the idea came from. These were creative, determined and dogged negotiations. The process wasn't easy. The process is never easy. But it was a successful one."
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig echoed Weiner's comments on the nearly year-long negotiating process that was often intense, but remained publicly quiet, standing in sharp contrast to fractious battles in the NFL and NBA, and one working out of mutual respect. "Baseball has been at its best over the last 15, 16 years, and one of the main reasons, if not the main reason, has been labor peace. This is another big step forward towards that," Selig said. The deal includes HGH blood testing for the first time in MLB, a new set of cost-controls on the first-year player draft and international free agent signings, hikes in minimum salaries, the previously announced shift of the Astros to the AL, and the addition of two wild card slots. More deal terms are listed below.
- Blood testing of players for HGH, beginning during Spring Training of '12.
- An increase in the minimum player salary from $414,000 in '11 to $480,000, and ultimately, $500,000 by '14, with cost-of-living adjustments for '15 and '16.
- Signing bonus pool restrictions on first-year draft selection. Each team will have a bonus pool assigned to them each year based on their selection order. Going over that number within the first 10 rounds of the draft will subject clubs to penalties that begin with a fine of $0.75 for every dollar over the threshold. Maximum penalties include a $1 fine for every dollar over, plus the loss of two first-round draft picks. The pool will be $11.5M next year for the Astros, who have the top overall pick.
- Signing restrictions on international free agents.
- A disqualification of the 15 clubs in the largest markets from receiving revenue sharing by '16.
- The competitive balance tax threshold will remain at $178M for '12-13, and then rise to $189M for '14-16.
- Mandatory use of new batting helmet by '13 designed to withstand pitches thrown at 100 miles per hour.
- Modifications to debt service rules, including a provision that debt belong to an owner personally or a related party is now covered by the rule if that debt is serviced at least in part by club funds or assets.
- Restrictions on smokeless tobacco use, including a ban during televised interviews and club appearances, and another ban on carrying tins in uniforms during games.
- Instant replay expanded to include fair/foul plays and trapped balls.