Baseball is Back

After 99 days, the MLB and the MLBPA have finally reached an agreement, and the 2022 season is officially saved. Even though the first two weeks of the regular season were cancelled, teams will still have a full 162 game schedule, with March 13 being the start to Spring Training.

According to the GOAT, Jeff Passan, “Under the new CBA, minimum salaries will begin at $700,000 in 2022 — an unprecedented 23% increase from the prior year — and rise to $780,000 for the final year in 2026. The competitive balance threshold, which taxes big-spending teams that surpass preestablished limits, will be set at $230 million in 2022 — a near 10% increase from last year — and reach $244 million by 2026. A $50 million player pool to reward pre-arbitration players who excel will also be incorporated.”

In addition to the money problems that were solved, we also get NORMAL baseball. The past two years have been filled with funky rules like seven-inning double headers and runners starting on second base when a game got into extra-innings, but no more! We are back to full, nine-inning double headers and normal extra-inning rules, sorry haters! Other rule changes include:

  • A 12-team postseason, with the top two division winners earning first-round byes.
  • A 45-day window to impose rule changes, decided on by a new joint committee, beginning in 2023.
  • A universal designated hitter.
  • A six-team draft lottery, implemented with hopes of curtailing tanking.
  • A provision that prevents teams from optioning eligible players more than five times within a season.
  • Two measures aimed at limiting service-time manipulation: a full year of service time awarded to players who finish within the top two in respective Rookie of the Year voting, and draft picks awarded to teams that promote players on Opening Day who finish among the top vote-getters for major awards.
  • Additional advertising through patches on jerseys and decals on helmets.

There was also significant conversation about an International Players Draft. This would eliminate draft pick compensation for teams who lose high-priced free agents, according to Passan. The MLBPA have until July 25 to decide on an International Draft.

I’m not totally sold on the 12 team playoff format. Yes, it gives long shots more of a chance to sneak in and go on a run to the World Series, but I’m a cream-of-the-crop kind of guy. Universal DH, I love that. I have been on the side of this rule change for years. I hate watching pitchers hit, regardless of how electric it is when they hit home runs. It made me physically ill when they would get hurt running the bases or swinging at a ball in the dirt, specifically when it was inter-league play and an AL pitcher got injured.  Happy that ALL pitchers can focus on what they get paid to do: pitch.

I am so hyped for this season to start, and for Free Agency to continue, we already got some big signings since we got back:

Let’s Go Yankees!!!

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