After a lockout that lasted just over three months, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor deal, according to reporting from multiple outlets. The players voted 26-12 in favor of MLB’s latest proposal (a simple majority was all that was needed). The union executive board voted unanimously (8-0) against the deal, but teams voted 26-4 in favor of the deal. The Mets were among the dissenting teams and according to reporting from Jon Heyman, Mets players were concerned about the fourth tier of the CBT—dubbed “the Cohen tax” by many—and that it could inhibit spending.
After a snag between the two sides over the international draft and draft pick compensation prevented a deal from being reached last night, MLB announced that Opening Day had been postponed to April 14, thus removing another week’s worth of games from the schedule. However, today the sides agreed to continue to discuss an international draft; they have until July 25 to reach a deal on the matter, after which either an international draft will be implemented starting in 2024 and the qualifying offer will vanish or the status quo for both international signings and the qualifying offer will remain if a deal is not reached. Once that compromise was agreed to, MLB put forward its latest offer at approximately 1:00pm ET and the deal was agreed to at approximately 3:00pm ET—the latest arbitrary deadline the league set to play 162 games this season.
Opening Day will now be on April 7 and the regular season will be extended by three days with nine-inning doubleheaders to make up for the postponed games and fill out a full 162-game schedule. The Mets will be in Washington DC on April 7. Players can report to spring training camps as early as tomorrow. Regular extra-inning rules have also returned, with the runner on second base to open extra innings eliminated.
The CBA is set to be ratified at 6:00pm ET tonight and free agency can begin immediately afterwards. There is sure to be a frenzy of deals made in the coming days as teams scramble to fill out their rosters with many players—including some big names—still unsigned.
Friends, our long national nightmare is now over. Let’s play ball.