Temporary solution for the MLB


Following 98 days of high tensions between the commissioner Rob Manfred’s office and the Major League Baseball Players Association, the MLB’s owner-imposed lockout comes to an end, with both sides arriving at a new collective bargaining agreement.

The lockout was first enacted by owners on Dec. 2 to expedite CBA negotiations, in which the player union and owners faced disagreement over concerns that compromised the regular season, with opening day being pushed back by two weeks.

Owners pushed for a playoff expansion, which would primarily benefit them through increased revenue, and prioritized the proposal of the largely player-opposed international draft.

One of the biggest goals of the players was a change in the compensation system, since players in the early stages of their career were previously guaranteed only the league minimum, despite how well their performances are. To put in perspective how unjust it was, you could be the best player in the league in the second year of your career, and you would earn just the league minimum. 

In adjusting to the owners and players’ needs, the new five-year CBA—ratified by team owners with a 30-0 vote in favor—raises the league minimum by more than $100,000 and adds a bonus pool to boost the compensation for talented players who are underpaid relative to their performance.

Not only will there be a few rule changes effective starting in the 2023 season, but the postseason has also been expanded to 12 teams instead of the previous 10-team format. However, not all issues have been solved; both sides will continue to talk about the international draft as the owners seek to establish such a draft in 2024, with the deadline being set to July 25.

The international draft has been long-discussed in the MLB, but the complexity behind it has prevented it from gaining any traction. Part of the issue is players stating their concerns on how it harms the overseas countries since the players are signed professionally at a young age as low as 16. The majority of them that don’t actually have the chance to travel to the United States to play professionally are left helpless without an education or with no place to go—due to being unable to play back in high school or college as a “professional.”

As negotiations about the international draft continue between the MLB and MLBPA, it will be interesting to see how things play out. Although it seems like the tensions are beginning to relax following the agreement, it is inevitable for conflict to arise once again. The middle class of the player union gained no benefits from the new CBA, as this current system solely rewards the young and veteran elite players.