The Major League Baseball Collective Bargaining Agreement, also known as the CBA, is the agreement between the players` union and the league`s owners that governs many aspects of the game, including player contracts, revenue sharing, and injury benefits.
The current CBA was signed in 2016 and is set to expire after the 2021 season. Negotiations for a new deal began in 2019, and after several months of talks, the two sides reached an agreement in December 2021, just before the previous CBA was set to expire.
One of the biggest changes in the new CBA is the introduction of a salary floor. Under the new agreement, teams must spend a certain amount of money on player salaries each season, with penalties for teams that fail to meet the floor. This is designed to address the issue of tanking, where teams intentionally field weaker rosters in order to improve their draft position and build for the future.
Another key change in the new CBA is the expansion of the playoffs. Starting in 2022, the playoffs will be expanded from 10 teams to 14, with the addition of a wild-card round. This is expected to increase revenue for the league and provide more excitement for fans.
The new CBA also includes several changes to the free agency and arbitration processes. For example, the minimum salary for players in their first three years of service time will increase, and the eligibility criteria for Super Two arbitration will be adjusted.
In addition, the new CBA includes provisions related to the use of technology in the game, such as the use of electronic strike zones and restrictions on the use of foreign substances by pitchers.
Overall, the new CBA represents a compromise between the league and the players` union, with both sides making concessions in order to reach an agreement. It is likely to have a significant impact on the game of baseball for years to come.