MLB & Players Union Reach Deal, Ending Lockout And Saving 2022 Season

Major League Baseball and their players union reached a tentative agreement for a new labor deal Thursday, saving the 2022 MLB season after an owner-led lockout lasting 99 days.

MLBPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

The season, previously set to open on March 31, will now start on April 7 and last a full 162-game regular season. With the deal, the MLB avoids the first loss of games due to a labor dispute in almost 30 years, when the 1994-95 players’ strike led to the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.

“I am genuinely thrilled to be able to say that Major League Baseball is back and we are going to play 162 games,” Commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters Thursday.

“One of the good things about collective bargaining is it gives our players an opportunity to have input on what their workplace and the game is going to look like going forward,” Manfred said. “They took full opportunity to provide that input during these negotiations.”

Key economic issues kept the negotiations at a standstill for months, including team luxury tax thresholds, salary arbitration, minimum salaries and club revenue-sharing. MLB players reportedly felt like the last agreement, reached in 2016, gave the owners too much.

“Our union endured the second-longest work stoppage in its history to achieve significant progress in key areas that will improve not just current players’ rights and benefits, but those of generations to come,” MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said in a statement. “Players remained engaged and unified from beginning to end, and in the process reenergized our fraternity.”

Manfred defended the owners’ decision to lock out the players on Dec. 2, saying he believed it “helped move the process along.”

“If we would have just slid into the season, started the season without a lockout, I don’t think we would have an agreement today,” Manfred said.

According to reports, the new deal raises the competitive balance tax, or CBT, threshold to $230 million, increasing to $244 million over the length of the deal. The CBT threshold is a limit on a team’s payroll; once it is exceeded, the team is charged a tax. It is in place to promote a competitive balance between big and small-market teams, but it is viewed by many players as a way to limit salaries.

Minimum salaries will increase from 570,500 to $700,000, rising to $780,000 over the agreement, also establishing a $50 million bonus pool for players before they reach the salary arbitration phase of their contract.

One notable change sure to make waves across the league is the designated hitter position will now be universal across both the American and National Leagues.

Read more articles from Haute Lawyer, visit