The newest labor agreement for Major League Baseball (MLB) players includes a clause that will require players to be tested at the highest level for human growth hormone. If the contract is accepted testing will begin for players in February 2012.
Under the plan anyone who tests positive just one time will receive a 50-game suspension, a punishment similar to today's testing which is accomplished with fewer tests.
In the meantime MLB officials were quick to point out that unlike a protracted lockout by NFL players during the summer and a likely season-ending NBA lockout still ongoing they were able to quickly reach an agreement that players accepted.
Under the new labor agreement which runs through 2017 the MLB minimum salary now sits at $480,000 per year (up from $414,000 and increasing to $500,000 by the end of the contract period). $500,000 is the the same amount players earned in 1989. The contract also includes luxury taxes on both amateur draft signings and international free agent signings as players enter into the bigs.
Along with players deals Commissioner Bud Selig recently announced that the Houston Astros would move to the American League which would in turn create two 15-team leagues while adding two new wild-card playoff teams into the mix and spreading interleague play throughout the entire regular season.
Under the deal MLB will become the first major sport in North America to test players for HGH.
Are you surprised to learn that MLB players were able to come to an agreement given the troubles other major league sports have suffered during player/owner negotiations recently?