In the past, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA have not issued official statements announcing a new Collective Bargaining Agreement until after it had been ratified by the players and clubs. The thinking was simple: there is no agreement until it is officially ratified. Which makes some sense.
A few moments ago, however, the league and the union issued a joint press release with a full summary of the new CBA terms, quotes from Tony Clark and Rob Manfred and the whole nine yards. You can see all of the detailed terms here.
The most likely explanation for doing it now: there are different people running MLB than were running it five years ago and they’re just doing things differently. My fun conspiracy theory, however, is that due to the division and acrimony in the player ranks about which we’re just hearing, the league and union wanted to make this appear to be a far more done deal than it technically is and thus be able to paint objectors who may pop up during the ratification process as Monday morning quarterbacks. Hey, crazier things have happened!
In the meantime, go check out some of the fun terms. There are a load of them there. In the meantime before you do that, here are the official statements from baseball’s honchos.
“I am pleased that we completed an agreement prior to the deadline that will keep the focus on the field during this exciting time for the game. There are great opportunities ahead to continue our growth and build upon the popularity that resonated throughout the Postseason and one of the most memorable World Series ever. This agreement aims to further improve the game’s healthy foundation and to promote competitive balance for all fans.
“I thank Tony Clark, his colleagues and many Major League Players for their work throughout the collective bargaining process. We appreciate their shared goals for the betterment of the sport. I am grateful for the efforts of our Labor Policy Committee, led by Ron Fowler, as well as Dan Halem and our entire Labor Relations Department.”
“Every negotiation has its own challenges. The complexities of this agreement differ greatly from those in the past if for no other reason than how the industry has grown. With that said, a fair and equitable deal is always the result you are working toward, and, once again, I believe we achieved that goal. I would like to thank our Players for their involvement, input and leadership throughout. Their desire to protect our history and defend and advance the rights and interests of their peers is something I am truly grateful for.
“I would also like to recognize Commissioner Rob Manfred, Dan Halem, MLB and the Labor Policy Committee for their hard work over the last year plus, and for staying committed to the process. In coming to an agreement, this deal allows both sides to focus on the future growth and development of the sport. There is a lot of work to be done and we look forward to doing it.”
Peace in our time.