Courtesy of Mark Feinsand, MLB.com
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association reached an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement on Thursday, paving the way for the 2022 regular season to begin on April 7.
The CBA must still be ratified by the owners before it becomes official, with a vote scheduled for early Thursday evening. Assuming it is ratified, both sides will have to sign a memorandum of understanding, officially bringing the three-month lockout to a close.
The mandatory Spring Training report date for all clubs is Sunday. Exhibition games will begin on March 17 or 18.
The deal came to fruition a day after MLB postponed Opening Day until April 14 in the absence of a new agreement and announced that each team’s first four series were removed from the schedule. However, as part of this agreement, a full 162-game schedule will be played, and the four series that were previously removed from the calendar will be rescheduled. The makeup games that came as a result of the delay will be rescheduled as nine-inning doubleheaders.
The new five-year CBA is expected to include increased minimum salaries, a new pre-arbitration bonus pool to reward the top young players in the game, a raise in competitive balance tax thresholds, the introduction of a universal designated hitter, the widest-ranging Draft lottery in pro sports, a system to prevent alleged service-time manipulation, limits on the number of times a player can be optioned in a season and a 12-team postseason. There will also be the evaluation of an international Draft.