Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association reached an agreement on the language of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement on Thursday. That’s right, Houston Astros games are back, all 162 games.
How did this new collective bargaining agreement work out?
The agreement featured some wins for both sides. For the players, that included an increase in the competitive balance tax threshold from $210 million to $230 million, the minimum salary from $570.5K to $700K and a pre-arbitration bonus pool of $50 million.
The MLB was able to expand the post-season from 10 to 12 teams and will be allowed to advertise on team uniforms.
Amongst the rest of the agreement were some rule changes, such as: introduction of the designated hitter to the national league and the formation of the Joint Competition Committee, a group task with implementing game improving rule changes.
The MLBPA’s Executive Board agreed to the new deal with a vote of 26 for the deal to 12 against. There was some confusion for baseball fans deriving from tweets by national media personalities, like Ken Rosenthal, that failed to initially clarify that it was the players’ representatives for each team, not the team itself, that voted against the CBA proposal.
It was player representatives from the New York Yankees, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinal and Astros ball clubs who voted in dissent. There were some obvious politic’ing there, as the players’ team representatives voted in-line with the Executive Committee members from the same teams.
The Executive Committee is made up of Zack Britton, Jason Castro, Gerrit Cole, Francisco Lindor, Andrew Miller, James Paxton, Max Scherzer and Marcus Semien, who all voted nay on the CBA proposal.
Once the players’ union executive board agreed to the deal, all 30 team owners voted unanimously to ratify the deal, officially ending the lockout and restarting the offseason.
Carlos Correa: Does this mean the Astros are going “pay the man”?
First on the shorten offseason docket is finishing up the free agency period. There are several notable names still left out there including former Houston Astros player, Carlos Correa.
As quoted by Fox 26’s Mark Berman on Twitter, Jim Crane is committed to making another run at the superstar shortstop. However, it still remains a long shot given the previous handling of the contract negotiations and the teams philosophy on high-dollar, long-term contracts.
The Astros still need to address the likelihood that Correa won’t return by looking at free agency and internal candidates. Correa was recently linked to the Chicago Cubs following the lockout, as reported by Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
They also have Chas McCormick slotted to start in centerfield.
If the Astros feel like he is a solely a solution while Jake Meyers recovers from his injury, they’ll need to look elsewhere for either a veteran centerfielder or a platoon partner for McCormick.
When is Astros Opening Day?
First, despite all the posturing by the owners, fans are still going to get to enjoy 162 Houston Astros games in the 2022 regular season.
The games missed, due to the forced-delayed start of the season by MLB owners, will be played as double-headers throughout the season and a few extra days added on at the end of the season.
All teams are required to report to spring training on Sunday, March 13, with exhibition games starting a week later.
That gives players and clubs about 25 days of work before Opening Day. Opening Day is now slated for April 7, to which the Astros will begin a nine-game road trip starting with the Los Angeles Angels.
It won’t be until April 18 that the Astros make their home debut against, once again, the Angels.
First, the Astros embark on spring training, as players are reporting as early as Friday. The first scheduled game is March 18.