Reaction To New CBA: Point By Point


Details are slowly coming out about the new collective bargaining agreement that baseball has signed with the players. is a wonderful source for information about the CBA, and recently posted a highlight of 10 points about the new agreeement here. Wanting of course to put my two cents in, I thought it would be fun to give my opinion on the ten points covered in the Trade Rumors post.

They didn’t list them in any particular order of importance, so I will just comment on them as they are listed on their site.

1. Playoffs to expand in 2012 or 2013-

Essentially baseball is adding a one game wildcard playoff. It’s been mentioned here, and I think this will probably add a little bit of excitement to one more team. However, I don’t particularly like it. I don’t like that it is a one game playoff, and I don’t like that a team like the Red Sox would’ve still won a playoff spot despite completely blowing it.

2. Middle Tier Free Agents-

I don’t have a problem with this one at all. Basically it seems to me that if teams aren’t willing to pay players a salary for one year that matches or exceeds the average of the top 125 players, they become free agents. This will probably flood the market with players, and helps a team like Detroit that is usually willing to have a decent payroll. I could be reading this wrong, but it means guys like Delmon Young are more than likely going to be able to be on the market more often than not. Of course, this also means that smaller market teams won’t be able to retain guys as easily as well.

3. Draft Limits May Curb Rebuilding Efforts-

The penalties MLB imposed on teams spending in the draft is ridiculous to me. The only people it harms are small to mid market teams who were using the draft as a tool to acquire cheaper talent than free agency. MLB dropped the ball here, and the players union surprised me by agreeing to this, but I guess they got more flexibility in free agency, so this was a trade-off. I don’t agree with this aspect at all, and I think it is the worst thing in this agreement easily. Spending limits and opposing penalties on drafting keeps the rich clubs in the driver seat.

4. Earlier Signing Deadline-

This is a positive move, and probably should have been done a long time ago. Baseball and it’s silly attitude towards making over-slot picks wait until the last hour for approval was stupid. It didn’t help anything or anybody. Moving up the deadline allows everyone involved in baseball to be on a more firm ground when it comes to the draft. Colleges win by knowing earlier if they lose recruiting classes, and teams win by getting their players on the field faster.

5. Trade Market Shifts For Free Agents-

It seems that a lot of time was spent in this CBA making sure that the draft isn’t a viable tool to improve the quality of your team. Essentially this means that teams who trade for a good player on the last year of their contract won’t receive a pick if they walk during free agency. This only applies to top tier guys at this point anyway. I just think this makes teams like Tampa less likely to trade for a high price player, knowing full well they won’t be able to keep them, nor get a pick for them.

6. Some Picks Can Be Traded-

This would seem a big shift from how MLB operated in the past. It’s a slow move in reality, as the only picks that looked like they might be able to be traded are “competitive balance” lottery picks. Apparently the ten lowest revenue generating teams will have a shot to win one of 6 lottery picks at the end of the 1st round draft. Then the 4 teams that don’t win the 1st round ones, go into another lottery for 6 more picks at the end of the 2nd with other teams that fall into the right side of the revenue sharing plan. Is it just me or is this still yet another tax on the low revenue clubs? So, teams that don’t generate revenue, and have a poor record, get extra picks in the draft in which they are penalized if they spend too much on the draft? Teams can’t spend anything on extra picks. In fact, teams might not even want extra picks anymore with the penalties they get hit with for going over spending limits.

7. International Spending Limits-

Once again a slap to franchises like the Royals, Rangers, and Mariners who use international spending as a means to compete for talent.

8. More Super Two’s-

Younger players will have the opportunity to become arbitration eligible earlier. It would seem that this again affects smaller market teams, as they won’t be able to manipulate the system as well to hold onto their players for longer.

9. Earlier Off-Season Deadlines-

Teams have to offer players arbitration, or decide on whether to tender players a little bit quicker. This obviously gives teams less time to shop, and players more time to find new teams and their value. I don’t really see this as much of a negative or a positive at all.

10. Expanded Rosters For Doubleheaders-

Again, a pretty mellow part of the new agreement. What this will allow is players to add a player to the roster without having to send one down for doubleheaders. That obviously can affect a team that doesn’t want to keep a player down in the minors for 10 days just because of a doubleheader. Makes some sense.

I’m certainly no expert on contracts and agreements, but this deal seemed more geared at attacking the draft as anything. Re-tooling everything to curb spending by imposing penalties is going to affect competitive balance in my opinion. Less amateur players will likely enter the draft as well. I understand owner wanting to curb spending, since they are about the bottom line, but I have to wonder if Mr. Selig was even thinking about the Tampa’s and Cleveland’s of the world.

I have always been neutral on Bud Selig. Now, I can’t wait for someone else to take over the game that we all love.