CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 29:  MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred laughs during a ceremony naming the 2016 winners of the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award and the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award before Game Four of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Report: Owners, union agree on new collective bargaining agreement

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Update #6 (2:53 AM EST): The new CBA has also reduced the minimum number of days for a player to be placed on the disabled list from 15 to 10 days.

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Update #5 (10:47 PM EST): New major league players will be banned from using smokeless tobacco under the new CBA, per Sherman. Current major leaguers are grandfathered in.

Rosenthal reports that, starting in 2018, the regular season schedule will begin in the middle of the week which will allow for extra off-days throughout the rest of the schedule.

The Athletics will be phased out as a revenue-sharing recipient over the next four years, also per Rosenthal.

A player can now only be given a qualifying offer once in his career. Yeah, Rosenthal.

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Update #4 (10:32 PM EST): MLB.com has officially announced the news.

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Update #3 (9:37 PM EST): ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that there will still be draft pick compensation. Teams that exceed the luxury tax threshold will lose a second- and fifth-round draft pick. Teams under the threshold will lose a third-round pick.

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Update #2 (9:06 PM EST): Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that while there will be no international draft, international signings will be capped at around $5-6 million per team per year.

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Update (8:55 PM EST): Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the new CBA will have a luxury tax threshold starting at $195 million and rise to $210-215 million over the span of the five-year deal. Sherman also hears that the new CBA will have a 60-70 percent penalty for those who go far beyond the threshold, aimed at those with payrolls around $250 million or greater.

Sherman adds that there will be no 26th roster spot as previously speculated. The current 25-man roster with expanded rosters in September will remain.

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With a few hours left before the midnight deadline, the owners and the players’ union have agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The other two possibilities were a lockout and an extension to continue negotiations. Thankfully, this didn’t have to drag on any longer than was necessary.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the new CBA will span the next five years (2017-21).

More details about the CBA should be coming shortly. We’ll provide updates here when they’re revealed. We do know that the owners reportedly conceded on instituting an international draft. The qualifying offer system was reportedly on the chopping block as well. The owners were also concerned with the luxury tax threshold.

Now that the CBA has been finalized, expect hot stove action to ramp up considerably. Many teams were waiting to see how the new rules would affect their spending.

Shapiro, Murray defend Dellin Betances after arbitration feud

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Dellin Betances #68 of the New York Yankees and the American League pitches against the National League during the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The dust hasn’t quite settled after right-hander Dellin Betances‘ arbitration hearing with the Yankees on Saturday. The case was decided in the team’s favor, awarding Betances with a $3 million salary for the 2017 season instead of the $5 million he initially requested. Yankees’ president Randy Levine held a press conference to voice his outrage over the figure presented by Betances and his agency, saying it had “no bearings in reality” since Betances does not have the elite closer status required for a salary bump of that magnitude.

Needless to say, the comments caused some consternation within Betances’ camp. The reliever publicly addressed the outburst, telling the press that he was prepared to put his differences with the team aside until he heard what Levine had to say. Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

Players union executive Rick Shapiro and Betances’ agent, Jim Murray, also spoke out in the right-hander’s favor. Shapiro presented Betances’ case during the hearing on Saturday and called Levine’s comments “an absolute disgrace to the arbitration process and to all of Major League Baseball.” In a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Shapiro added: “The only thing that has been unprecedented in the last 36 hours is that a club official, after winning a case, called a news conference to effectively gloat about his victory – that’s unprecedented.”

Murray spoke exclusively to Rosenthal, accusing the president of effectively bullying the 28-year-old during the arbitration process and claiming that Levine had both mispronounced Betances’ name throughout the hearing and blamed the reliever for “declining ticket sales and their lack of playoff history.” Like Betances, Murray said that the agency was ready to accept the arbiter’s decision and move on before Levine’s decision to air his grievances to the media. “The only person overreaching in this entire situation is Randy,” Murray told Rosenthal. “He might as well be an astronaut because nobody on earth would agree with what he is saying. Even the others in the room would disagree with him.”

Royals will experiment with Alex Gordon in all three outfield spots this year

CLEVELAND, OH -  MAY 7: Alex Gordon #4 of the Kansas City Royals reacts to a fan while on first base during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 7, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Royals’ manager Ned Yost is shaking things up in 2017, starting with left fielder Alex Gordon. Yost told MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan that “every scenario is open,” and expects to utilize Gordon in right and center field this spring while he figures out where to position Jorge Soler and Brandon Moss.

Gordon, 33, hasn’t manned right field since a three-game experiment with the Royals back in 2010 and has yet to play center field during any regular season to date. The focus, however, isn’t on Gordon’s capabilities. Among the three outfielders, he carries the best defensive profile and appears to be the most versatile of the bunch.

According to Flanagan, Soler and Moss are average on defense and will continue working closely with Royals’ coach Rusty Kuntz as the season approaches. One arrangement could see Gordon in center field, flanked by Soler in right field and Moss in left, though Yost foresees Soler taking some reps at DH if his defensive chops aren’t up to snuff.

While Moss is prepared to see starts at either outfield corner, Yost appears to be set on keeping Soler in right field, at least for the time being. The club is hoping for a bounce-back season from the 24-year-old outfielder, who was acquired from the Cubs in December after batting a lackluster .238/.333/.436 and sustaining a slew of minor injuries throughout the 2016 season.