Toronto Blue Jays Morning Brew for Thursday, December 1st
The train will stay on the tracks as Major League Baseball and the MLBPA reached a new CBA last night in Dallas.
An agreement of this scale is thick, clunky, and complicated. The fine details — especially when financial terms are involved — can run very deep, but some immediate impacts on the game are already clear.
New compensation system
Gone is the qualifying offer system — though it will still be honoured this offseason as those decisions have already been made.
Instead, the two sides have agreed to a more complex system.
Most notably, teams will no longer have to give up their first round draft pick to sign top free agents, moving the market much closer to being completely free and open for players. Ken Rosenthal explains:
The indirect impact of this change could be an uptick in player movement at the trade deadline. Under the current structure, teams could be tempted to hold on to their star player for the draft pick alone (and the possibility to re-sign them, of course). Now, without less attractive compensation, there will be fewer barriers.
In news that will likely come as a relief to the majority of baseball fans, the MLB All-Star Game will no longer determine home-field advantage in the World Series.
That feature was well-intentioned, with hopes of adding some level of meaning to a game that has often lacked competition, but it didn’t work. There’s now little incentive for players to participate other than the honour of being named.
This is a big step for Major League Baseball — and a long overdue one — but I’m interested to see how strictly this rule is enforced on the field. Will the umpiring crew have lists of which players have been grandfathered in and check throughout the game? Will some responsibility be put on the clubs?
Along with changes to international spending (and the avoidance of an international draft), Jon Morosi reports that the MLB is pushing for games in Mexico and London by 2018.
Bringing the game to Latin America is a win for the league whenever possible, but jumping across the pond is more of a surprise. This would presumably be two teams playing a full series in London, and if done right, there is real potential there for the MLB… As long as they don’t take the NFL approach and send Phillies vs. Twins.