MLB & MLB Players Union Reach Tentative Agreement
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association reached a tentative agreement on a new collective-bargaining agreement Thursday, ending the league's 99-day lockout of the players and salvaging a 162-game season, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.
With the end of the second-longest work stoppage in the game's history, spring training camps will open Sunday, free-agent signings and trades will abound, and baseball will attempt to return to some semblance of normalcy after months of fraught negotiations.
The deal materialized after talks ratcheted up this week, when the league made a proposal that bridged the significant gap in the competitive-balance tax, a key issue in the end stages of talks. A dispute over an international draft threatened negotiations and caused the league to "remove from the schedule" another two series Wednesday, but those issues were resolved Thursday morning and the league delivered a full proposal to the union, which it voted to accept.
The basic agreement governs almost all aspects of the game, but baseball's core economics were front and center in the labor talks. In addition to the CBT move, the minimum salary governing players with less than three years of major league service will jump from $570,500 to $700,000, growing to $780,000, and a bonus pool worth $50 million will be distributed among those younger players who have yet to reach salary arbitration.