It’s done, approved, and becomes the law of the land in baseball starting next December, kicking into effect for the 2018 season. Below, the key parts, and my reaction to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
NO INTERNATIONAL DRAFT
…Would have liked to have seen it in place as an equal to the way college and high school talent is distributed….Why should my son, a power hitting catcher have to be drafted, and slotted with bonus pay, while a Cuban or a Latin player, same age, is a true free agent, likely coming here with a big signing bonus?
INTERNATIONAL DRAFT POOL
…This was alternative to the draft idea…Each club will have between 4.5 and 5.7M each year to sign Latin players and others not part of the current draft. It ends the wild spending sprees for unproven Cubans. Call this the AJ Preller rule, after he spent some 66M-to sign Latin players this year. It is a ‘hard cap’ and there will be no exceptions.
INTERNATIONAL FREE AGENTS
…There will be a class of players who don’t fall under the Draft Pool rules. Players who are (25) or older, or have spent 6-years playing in their country’s pro leagues, will be exempt from the pool. It would have meant a 22-year old Yasiel Puig would have been covered in the international pool, but an Ichuro Suzuki would have been a true free agent-ready for a bidding war.
WORLD SERIES-HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
…The end of the bad Bud Selig idea that the winner of the All Star game (exhibition) would get home field advantage for their league in the World Series (most important games). It was a cheap stunt
ELIMINATE 1ST ROUND DRAFT PICK COMPENSATION
…Ideal for the few players each winter who got the max qualifying offers (17M-this year) and found their bargaining ability limited because teams would not want to give up a 1st round pick for an aging free agent they’d sign.
DRAFT PICK COMPENSATION
…A new rule. If you sign a player who was given the max qualifying offer, and you are a team paying luxury tax, you have to forefeit a 2nd and 5th round pick, and give up 1M of your international pool too to the club that lost a player. If you are a revenue sharing team, and sign a qualifying offer player, then you give up a 3rd round pick as compensation.
FREE AGENT QUALIFYING OFFERS
…A new approach, you can be given the Q-offer just one time in your career starting next season.
…Next year, teams will be allowed to trade a large segment of their 5M-international signing pool money in deals, but cannot trade picks in the June draft.
…This impacts just a few teams, the big money teams. The tax will kick in if your payroll exceeds 195M for the 2018 season. The tax threshold will increase each year, as revenue increases.
…It’s expensive if you are the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, teams almost always over the tax limit. If you are 20-to-40M over the tax, you pay a 12% tax the first year. If you are 40M plus over the tax limit, you pay 42% tax that given year. If you go over the tax limit a 2nd and 3rd year in a row, the tax rate could go as high as 75% on the overage. The Dodgers have a major crisis. Their payroll right now borders on 240M. Do the math what they have to pay at a 12% penalty rate, some 45M over the threshold.
SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE
…Next year, spring training gets cut by a week…There will be four more off days during the regular season, that will now start the last week of March.
162 GAME SCHEDULE
…It was discussed, a possible cutback, but was nixed, going instead to the early season start with more off days in season.
…The DL goes from 15-days to a 10-day list, which means more minor leaguers get called up (getting service time), and players get put on DL for fewer days.
…Teams must provide dieticians and nutrition specialists, and each club will offer pregame and post game meals to players. Meal money for players cut from $130 per day to $30 a day.
…Never ruled on. American League stays with the DH…National League will have pitchers hitting 9th…(Pitchers BA last year .092).
…Talked about increasing to 26-which would help pitching staffs, but was voted down.
…Huge argument about teams going with 40-man rosters the final month of season, loading up with pitchers, and impacting games with pennant race implications. Thoughts of a 28-man active roster in September, but voted down, so we stay at 40.