MLB

Baseball is Back: MLB, MLBPA Reach Agreement After Lockout & Opening Day Schedule 

Play ball! Major League Baseball is back on track after a 99-day long lockout. A new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was reached on Thursday, March 10 and it will last until 2027. Despite the delay, the MLB will have a full 162-game season, and it will all start on Opening Day scheduled for April 7.

Some of the most notable changes are:

  •  A Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) Threshold of $230 million in 2023 and an increase to $244 million in 2027
  • A CBT penalty tier of $60 million, a minimum salary of $700,000 with an increase to $740,000 in 2027
  • A pre-arbitration bonus pool of $50 million, and 12 teams in the postseason. 

More money for young players is another key point of this agreement. One of the many goals for the union was to get players with fewer than three years of service more money off the bat. The league minimum was increased from $575.5K in 2021 to $700K. There is also a $50 million pre-arbitration bonus pool for ineligible players to earn more money based on their rank in the Wins Above Replacement (WAR) list. 

Two more teams making the playoffs is perhaps what has had the most attention. The details of how this will work are unknown, but owners wanted an increase from the 10 teams that started in 2012 with the Wild Card Game. The original goal was to get 14 teams, but they were able to settle at 12 teams advancing to the playoffs.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that he wants to continue a good relationship with MLBPA executive director Tony Clark to keep an open conversation for the benefit of the players. “It’s gonna be a priority of mine moving forward to try to make good on the commitment I made to him on the phone,” said Manfred.

Clark released a statement and is glad of the changes they were able to make for the current players and those to come. “Players remain engaged and unified from beginning to end, and in the process reenergized in our fraternity,” he said. Manfred also apologized to fans for the past few months and the uncertainty the situation caused. 

The lockout was the second-longest work stoppage in MLB history since 1995. Trades and free-agent signings will likely come over the next few weeks and players are expected to report no later than Sunday, March 13. Spring training games will start Thursday, March 17. 

Here is the Opening Day schedule for April 7th & 8th:

Thursday, April 7th

Game Time (ET)
Milwaukee Brewers at New York Cubs 2:20 p.m.
New York Mets at Washington Nationals 4:05 p.m.
Cleveland Guardians at Kansas City Royals 4:10 p.m.
Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins 4:10 p.m.
Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals 4:15 p.m.
Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves 8 p.m.
Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels 9:38 p.m.
San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks 9:40 p.m.

 

Friday, April 8th

Game Time (ET)
Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees 1:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers 1:10 p.m.
Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs 2:20 p.m.
Oakland Athletics at Philadelphia Phillies 3:05 p.m.
Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays 3:10 p.m.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies 4:10 p.m.
Miami Marlins at New York Giants 4:35 p.m.
New York Mets at Washington Nationals 7:05 p.m.
Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays 7:07 p.m.
Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves 7:20 p.m.
Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angeles 9:38 p.m.
San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks 9:40 p.m.

 

Laura Blanco