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Volume 22 No. 14
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Key terms in the MLB collective-bargaining agreement

Highlights from the new five-year collective-bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association:

Increase in the minimum major league player salary from $507,500 to $535,000 in 2017, $545,000 in 2018, $555,000 in 2019, and cost-of-living adjustments in 2020 and 2021.

A phase-out of the Oakland A’s from receiving revenue-sharing funds. The Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros, which had been disqualified from receiving revenue sharing during the prior labor deal, will again be eligible.

An expansion of the length of the regular season from 183 days to 187 days, starting in 2018. The number of games, 162, will stay the same, but the change provides more off days in the schedule.

An elimination of the provision that granted World Series home field advantage to the winning league in the All-Star Game. That advantage will instead go to the pennant winner with the better regular-season record, and players in the All-Star Game will instead compete for a $640,000 bonus to be equally shared by the winning team. The MLB league office, rather than managers, will select All-Star Game reserves.

A reduction in daily travel per diems from $105 to $30. Teams will counteract that reduction by taking a much more active role in providing food to players, and are now required to hire full-time chefs and registered dietitians.

An elimination of the 15-day disabled list, to be replaced with the 10-day disabled list.

New luxury tax thresholds that rise from $189 million in club payroll to $195 million in 2017, $197 million in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $208 million in 2020, and $210 million in 2021. Tax rates will be 20 percent for first-time payors, 30 percent for second-time payors, and 50 percent for teams over the threshold three times or more. An additional surtax of as much as 45 percent will be applied depending on how far over the threshold a team goes.

Changes in compensation to teams losing free agents. Instead of forfeiting first-round draft picks as in the prior deal, teams signing top free agents will instead surrender picks ranging from the second to fifth rounds and some of their international signing bonus pool money, depending on whether the signing club paid the luxury tax or is disqualified from revenue sharing.

The creation of hard caps for international amateur player signings.

The creation of an international play plan that will stage games or tours in Mexico, Asia, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and London over the next five years.

Substantial increases in the number of in-season and out-of-season random urine and blood tests.

A ban on in-ballpark use of smokeless tobacco for any player making his MLB debut in 2017 or later.

The creation of an anti-hazing and anti-bullying policy as a supplement to MLB’s workplace code of conduct.