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Players/Owners Sign New Collective Bargaining Agreement

MLB players and owners have signed a 5-year collective bargaining agreement, changing some rules around the draft and scouting, adding HGH testing, and expanding the playoffs. 

From ESPN MLB: What else will change?

Baseball players and owners signed an agreement for a new labor contract Tuesday, a deal that makes baseball the first North American professional major league to start blood testing on human growth hormone and expands the playoffs to 10 teams.

The HGH testing is a big deal; the first positive test results in a 50-game suspension. Testing will be held in Spring Training and the off-season, but random testing (without cause) during the season has not yet been approved.

Other tidbits:

• Players will be required to play in the All-Star Game unless injured or excused.

• Instant replay will be expanded to include decisions on foul lines and traps, subject to an agreement with umpires.

• Players, managers and coaches may not use smokeless tobacco products during televised interviews and may not carry them in their uniforms.

It also appears that the extra Wild Card spot and the expanded playoffs will start next season.

A note about the A's specifically:

The A's will be eligible for revenue sharing until their stadium situation is resolved, the source said.

What are your thoughts? And for someone who understands the financials of the amateur draft better than I, feel free to shed some light on what this will mean for baseball in the future. For ESPN Insiders, Keith Law offers his thoughts here.