Details are still coming in but a tentative agreement was reached last night. Highlights (thanks to CBC and TSN):
- No international draft but a hard cap on signing bonus pool
- Luxury tax threshold rises from $189 million US to $195 million next year, $197 million in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $209 million in 2020 and $210 million in 2021
- For a team $40 million or more in excess of the luxury tax threshold, its highest selection in the next amateur draft will drop 10 places.
- 25 man rosters remain, with September callups remaining the same
- A player can receive a free-agent qualifying offer only once in his career and will have 10 days to consider it instead of seven.
- A club signing a player who failed to accept a qualifying offer would lose its third-highest amateur draft pick if it is a revenue-sharing receiver, its second- and fifth-highest picks (plus a loss of $1 million in its international draft pool) if it pays luxury tax for the just-ended season, and its second-highest pick (plus $500,000 in the international draft pool) if it is any other team.
- A club losing a free agent who declined a qualifying offer would receive an extra selection after the first round of the next draft if the player signed a contract for $50 million or more and after the competitive balance B round if under $50 million. However, if that team pays luxury tax, the extra draft pick would drop to after the fourth round.
- The drop-off in slot values in the first round of the amateur draft will be lessened.
- This one will make Joanna happy - smokeless tobacco will be banned for all players who currently do not have at least one day of major league service.
- Here's a surprise - the regular season will expand from 183 days to 187 starting in 2018, creating four more scheduled off days.
- There are additional limitations on the start time of night games on getaway days. How much you want to bet the Sux were the ones pushing for that?
- The minimum salary rises from $507,500 to $535,000 next year, $545,000 in 2018 and $555,000 in 2019, with cost-of-living increases the following two years; the minor league minimum for a player appearing on the 40-man roster for at least the second time goes up from $82,700 to $86,500 next year, $88,000 in 2018 and $89,500 in 2019, followed by cost-of-living raises.
- As part of the drug agreement, there will be increased testing, players will not be credited with major league service time during suspensions, and biomarker testing for HGH will begin next year.
- Oakland's revenue-sharing funds will be cut to 75 per cent next year, 50 per cent in 2018, 25 per cent in 2019 and then phases out. It looks like this will lead to a bigger push for a new stadium.
So what do you make of it all?