Play Ball, We Have a New CBA in MLB

3-10-22 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter

In light of current events, I’m going to avoid making a bunch of war references, but suffice to say just because this thing gets signed, we shouldn’t expect the two sides in this negotiation have solved their problems. They’ve only ensured we’ll be having many of the same arguments in a few years.

The executive board of players which by now you all know has 5 Scott Boras clients of the 8 members tried to nix the deal, but the players body overruled them 26-12 and the deal is done.

That said, we will have Major League Baseball, and for many fans even in Pittsburgh, unfair baseball is better than no baseball, so let’s talk about some of the highlights and what it means for our Pirates.

I’ll write much more on all this as the days go by but for now, we have baseball, and I’ll take that as the bright side for today and move on.

Baseball will open the season on April 7th, Spring training on March 17th and we’ll play 162.

Expanded Playoffs

It was touch and go there for a while, would it be 12 or 14? Well, it’s 12 and that means more teams should in theory be in it late into the season.

CBT Threshold

230 million. That’s the starting point, up from 214. This was the main sticking point and if I may, where Boras was concentrated all along. The block of teams opposed to raising it beyond 220 was 10, they only need 8 to stop a proposal. Getting the union to drop the grievances against the teams over lack of spending was key to get this pushed through despite Boras trying to torpedo it at the 11th hour.

Pre-Arbitration Bonus Pool and Minimum Salary

To be clear, this is completely new spending and while it will come from a central pool, it will count against the CBT threshold. 50 million dollars will now be used to reward exceptional young players. Minimum salary also increased to 700,000 and by 2026 will be 780,000.

Draft Lottery

The top 4 spots in the draft will now be a lottery. Big markets can only have it one year while small can have it twice.

Rule Changes

None of these take effect until 2023, but larger bases, limited shift banning and pitch clocks are all coming to the game. The DH enters this season.

Pirates Wins

Not much. As I wrote this morning, the Pirates lot in life isn’t going to improve from this CBA. I suppose expanded playoffs could help.

Pirates Losses

Not much, believe it or not, the gap got bigger, but that’s about it. It’s a break even deal for the Bucs.

Bottom Line

Who cares. We want baseball and they just got it done. It doesn’t help or hurt the Pirates measurably and the players punched Scott Boras in the nose on the last day. Ratification will take place at 6 PM this evening and then the floodgates of news and transactions follow quickly. Stay tuned and buckle up.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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