It took 14 weeks of work stoppage and some tense negotiations, but the MLB lockout is over. The league and Players Association reached a new labor deal Thursday, roughly 100 days after the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement expired. The new CBA must still be ratified by both sides tonight, which is “expected to be a formality,” reports Jeff Passan of ESPN.
The accord took long enough that Opening Day will still be postponed, but it did come in time to salvage a full campaign. The 2022 regular season will feature the usual 162 games, and the early-April contests that were already canceled will be rescheduled and made up.
Assuming ratification of the CBA goes smoothly, transactions such as free agency could begin Thursday night. Players may begin reporting to spring training camps as early as Friday, notes ESPN, and the season would begin for some teams on April 7.
For the Oakland A’s, Opening Day will be April 8, on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies, per Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle. Their first 10 games will come on the road, including stops in Tampa Bay and Toronto:
- 3 @ Phillies
- 4 @ Rays
- 3 @ Blue Jays
As for the terms of the new labor deal itself, click here for a roundup of the key details from MLB insider Mark Feinsand. Some major topics include the Competitive Balance Tax, league minimum salary, a new bonus pool for pre-arbitration players, a lottery system for the amateur draft, a new international draft, elimination of the qualifying offer system for free agents, a limit on how many times a player can be optioned to the minors each year, a universal designated hitter in both leagues, and an expanded 12-team postseason.
We’ll get deeper into the specifics in the coming days. For now, what’s important is the lockout is over, and baseball is back!