MLB, players union agree to labour deal; Opening Day set for April 7

By Sportsnet Staff and Lucas Casaletto

Baseball is back.

According to multiple reports, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association reached a tentative agreement on a new labour deal.

This week, the two sides hammered out a deal after marathon sessions, avoiding losing regular-season games caused by labour strife for the first time since 1994-95.

Players voted 26-12 in favour of the offer.

Players can report to Spring Training as early as Friday, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Baseball’s Opening Day is expected to be on April 7.

The league had previously cancelled games through April 13 when they couldn’t reach a deal on Wednesday.

Passan says that transactions will unfreeze upon ratification of the new labour deal, which is expected to come as early as Thursday, which will allow free agents to sign with teams and trades to be formalized.

The new deal preserves a 162-game schedule after the two sides narrowed many economic differences to a small margin in recent days.

The Athletic reported that MLB had set a Tuesday deadline for an agreement to be reached and still salvage a full 162-game season, though that was pushed back as the parties tried to get a deal.

A proposal from MLB Tuesday evening included significant increases to the competitive-balance tax and the pre-arbitration bonus pool, as well as smaller-scale concessions in other areas. Those developments led to initial optimism that there could be a path to a deal on time to play a 162-game season for which players would be paid in full.

According to sources, during talks in New York, the prospect of an international draft became a focal point of discussions, and talks slowed. While the league now considers an international draft a priority, players had some initial resistance to the idea, meeting internally to discuss potential consequences in detail while reaching out to Latin American players for additional viewpoints.

Both sides made significant concessions during talks, led by MLB’s Dan Halem and the MLBPA’s Bruce Meyer.

The league proposed a competitive balance tax of $230 million (up from $220 million), increasing to $242 million throughout a five-year CBA. Players, meanwhile, expressed openness to a new surcharge tax level designed to rein in runaway spenders.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today