Bill Baer

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.

Astros avoid arbitration with Nori Aoki

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Norichika Aoki #8 of the Seattle Mariners is pictured in the dugout before a game against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on September 17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 2-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Astros have avoided arbitration with outfielder Nori Aoki, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $5.5 million, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. Aoki was entering his third of four years of arbitration eligibility.

Aoki was claimed by the Astros off waivers from the Mariners earlier this month. He finished the 2016 season batting .283/.349/.388 with 32 extra-base hits and 63 runs scored in 467 plate appearances.

There had been some thought that the Astros might non-tender Aoki after signing Josh Reddick, but at the very least, he’ll provide the club some outfield depth.

Athletics become official sponsor of the baseball, elephant, and oak tree emojis

DENVER, CO - APRIL 7:  A detail photograph of a locked basket of baseballs seen in a hallway within the stadium after a game between the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres at Coors Field on April 7, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies beat the Padres 9-1.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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Today in headlines you never thought you’d read.

MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports that the Athletics became the official sponsor of the baseball emoji today through the Unicode Consortium’s Adopt-a-Character program. The Athletics also adopted the elephant emoji to honor their mascot Stomper as well as the oak tree which A’s president Dave Kaval says symbolizes of Oakland.

A list of all of the adopted characters can be found on the Unicode website.

For fun, I decided to suggest possible emojis for some other teams.