MLB CBA negotiations finally led to a resolution on Wednesday night (November 30). As part of the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that Major League Baseball has in place, the winner of the summer All-Star Game will no longer decide the host of the World Series. A report by the Associated Press broke the news early Thursday morning (December 1) that changes to the CBA would affect how the All-Star Game and World Series would work for the next five years.
Rather than have the league that wins the All-Star Game host the World Series each year, that aspect of the summer exhibition game has been removed from the books. The All-Star Game goes back to simply being an exhibition game with a result that has no impact on anything else during the baseball season. The host of the World Series will instead be determined by which team had the best regular season record. During the 2016 MLB season, this would have meant that the Chicago Cubs would have had home-field advantage in the World Series.
Following the 2002 All-Star Game, then-commissioner Bud Selig decided to change how the game impacted the rest of the season. The game had finished in a 7-7 tie, leading Selig to make a decision that many MLB analysts have debated about for years. Selig felt that it was important for the All-Star Game to mean something, so he instituted a plan where the winning league would then get to host Game 1 of the World Series each year. Fans have been divided for years on whether or not this was a good idea for the game.
The new report about the MLB CBA from the Associated Press also presents a quote from Selig. The former commissioner made the statement following a unanimous vote by the owners to make the All-Star Game mean something more.
“This energizes it. This gives them something to really play for. People pay a lot of money to see that game. They deserve to see the same intensity they see all year long. Television people pay a lot of money for the game. It was not and should not be a meaningless exhibition game.”
Some additional details about the new MLB CBA were also revealed in this report. All of this information came from a source who wanted to keep their anonymity, so some of the finer points may be considered rumors until Major League Baseball actually confirms everything later in the week.
It appears that changes to the way that the disabled list works have also been made by the players and owners. The minimum stay on the disabled list used to be 15 days, but that has been reduced to just 10 days, giving teams more flexibility when dealing with injured players. It could lead to more players winding up on the disabled list, as teams would only lose those players for 10 days instead of the prior 15.
A prior report by ESPN relayed some additional information about what will take place under the new MLB CBA. Their sources state that the luxury-tax threshold will go up to $195 million for next season. Teams that exceed that threshold in team salary are taxed for doing so, which serves as a penalty for teams to exceed the soft salary cap.
Another rule adjustment is that teams signing the top tier free agents won’t lose a first-round draft pick any longer. Teams losing players will still receive a compensation pick, but it won’t be in the same slot as it was before these changes.
Additional adjustments to the collective bargaining agreement include lengthening the regular season schedule by four days, banning smokeless tobacco for all new big leaguers, and an increase in the minimum salary (from $507,500 to $535,000 for next season). The new MLB CBA also has no international draft included in it, even though it was something that owners really wanted to see go into place during this bargaining session.
[Featured Image by Rob Foldy/Getty Images]