Key points of the new MLB CBA agreement
Major League Baseball announced today its new five-year collective bargaining agreement with the players association, which will give the league 21 years without a work stoppage.
There are some interesting and key points brought up in the new deal:
*Addition of Wild Card - There will be an additional wild card team added to each league starting in 2013, when the Astros move to the AL in realignment of two 15-team leagues. However, commissioner Bud Selig said he's still hopeful the two wild card teams will be added for this upcoming season, and they have a deadline of Mar. 1 to make that decision. Selig said he's "confident" it will happen. That's good news for the Rays, giving them a better chance of making the playoffs (even if they are behind the Red Sox and Yankees in the division).
*HGH testing - There will be blood testing for human growth hormone, starting with all players in this upcoming spring training. Players are then subjected to testing during the season if there's reasonable cause. After the 2012 season, players are subjected to random unnanounced testing in the offseason. MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner made it a point today to bring up the fact it wasn't a difficult decision, that "players have no tolerance for the use of performance enhancing drugs, we want to have the best program that we can establish, a program that is not only tough, deters and has appropriate (penalties) but relies on best science and has fairest procedures."
*Draft spending - This could be one of the more controversial ones. There will be an aggregate pool of spending each team has for the draft. To calculate those signing bonus pools, each pick in the first 10 rounds of the draft will be assigned a value (the club's bonus pool equals sums of the values of that club's selection in the first 10 rounds). If a club goes over their allotted pools, they are subjected to getting taxed, or losing picks.
The draft pick signing deadline has been moved up between July 12-18.
Some other issues include:
*Draft pick compensation: The terms "Type A" and "Type B" free agents will no longer be there, with an adjusted way of determining what kind of draft pick compensation each team gets for losing one of their free agents.
*Minimum salary for players has increased
-- JOE SMITH