MLB Lockout Rumors: Team Owners Unanimously Vote To Approve New CBA

After nine consecutive days of meetings at Roger Dean Stadium failed to produce a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) resumed bargaining in New York the past several days.

The league imposed yet another CBA deadline that again was pushed back one day due to perceived progress in negotiations. However, momentum stalled Wednesday morning and more games were removed from the 2022 regular season schedule.

Thursday saw the league and union reach an agreement on how to approach the possible creation of an international draft, and that wound up sparking CBA negotiations.

Hours after the MLBPA voted to approve a new CBA, team owners followed suit, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

Key issues throughout CBA negotiations were economic matters, such as the luxury tax thresholds and accompanying penalties, minimum starting salary, pre-arbitration bonus pool, and percentage of players that would qualify for Super Two status.

More recently, possibly instituting an international draft in exchange for eliminating the qualifying offer became a significant hurdle. That was cleared Thursday with an agreement that a final decision on an international draft doesn’t need to be made until July 25.

Whether an expanded postseason would have 12 or 14 teams was another disagreement, and how much notice MLB must provide a committee of potential rule changes. Under the 2017-21 CBA, the league had to introduce new rules at least one year in advance; that now is down to just 45 days.

With the luxury tax thresholds, the union lowered their asks to $232 million for the 2022 season, followed by $235 million, $240 million, $245 million and $250 million over the lifetime of the CBA.

The final agreement set CBT lines at $230 million, $233 million, $237 million, $241 million
and $244 million. With that came a fourth surcharge level for clubs that exceed the threshold by $60 million or more.

At present time the Los Angeles Dodgers are projected to have a payroll in the neighborhood of $235 million for the 2022 season. They exceeded the luxury tax threshold in 2021 and would face repeater penalties if remaining about it this season.

Among other CBA changes are the pre-arbitration bonus pool being set at $50 million, expanded postseason will be 12 team, MLB Draft is 20 rounds, players can be optioned to the Minors a maximum of five times per season, and implementing a universal designated hitter.

MLB free agency, Spring Training & Opening Day details

MLB free agency started immediately after owners voted to approve the new CBA, and players are due to report for Spring Training by Sunday. Cactus League and Grapefruit League games should begin March 18, and the new Opening Day date is set for April 7.

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