Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association reached an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement on Thursday, paving the way for the 2022 regular season to begin on April 7.
The CBA must still be ratified by both sides before it becomes official. Once that happens, Spring Training camps are expected to open on Sunday, bringing the three-month lockout to a close.
The deal came to fruition a day after MLB postponed Opening Day until April 14 in the absence of a new agreement and announced that each team’s first four series were removed from the schedule. However, as part of this agreement, a full 162-game schedule will be played, and the four series that were previously removed from the calendar will be rescheduled. The makeup games that came as a result of the delay will be rescheduled as nine-inning doubleheaders.
The new five-year CBA is expected to include increased minimum salaries, a new pre-arbitration bonus pool to reward the top young players in the game, a raise in competitive balance tax thresholds, the introduction of a universal designated hitter, the widest-ranging Draft lottery in pro sports, a system to prevent alleged service-time manipulation, limits on the number of times a player can be optioned in a season and a 12-team postseason. There will also be the evaluation of an international Draft.
Once the CBA is finalized, teams around the league will turn their attention to completing their offseason business, as more than 200 players remain on the free-agent market, including notable names such as Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, Kris Bryant and Trevor Story.
This is a developing story. We will update it as more details become available.