Major League Baseball players and owners reached a tentative labor agreement Thursday. This will likely save a complete 162-game season this spring/summer.
The tentative pact was reported by the league's website. It stated that spring training games would start late next week and regular season contests would begin April 7.
Although it wasn't clear at first when union members and owners could vote on the deal, ratification seems to be a formality.
Let's get out there and play some ball. "Let's play ball," Cincinnati Reds pitcher Amir Garrett tweeted. He succinctly summarized the relief felt by both players and fans on Thursday.
The deal allows schedule makers to fit 162 games between now and September, even though MLB's March 31 Opening Day will be missed.
According to MLB's website, the agreement will last for five years and may include some on-the-field rules changes.
According to reports, the playoffs will be expanded to 12 teams. This is a change from the 10-team format that has been in place since 2012.
Every game will now have a designated batter, which means that a full-time batter will be hitting for the pitcher. While the American League uses a DH from 1973 to this day, the National League still follows the old rules.
The most recent collective bargaining arrangement expired December 1. Owners have stopped all offseason transactions, such as trades or free agent signings, and players are prohibited from training in team facilities.
There are still a lot of top players available, so the next four weeks will be a baseball buying frenzy. Stars like Carlos Correa from Houston Astros, Kris Bryant from San Francisco Giants, Trevor Story, Atlanta Braves first baseman for the Colorado Rockies, Nick Castellanos, Cincinnati Reds outfielder, and Trevor Story, shortstop for Colorado Rockies, will all be up for sale.
Both sides left the negotiation table unhappy, San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer said to reporters on Thursday afternoon.
"I don't think it's perfect for players. He said that he wasn't saying that it was perfect for the owners. "But this is a huge step forward."
The union and management were far apart on key economic questions which included soft caps for team payroll and higher salaries for younger, often less-paid players.
In 1962, the MLB established a 162-game schedule. has been only a few times that teams have missed a complete slate.
The regular season was cut by player strikes in 1982 and 1981 before another walkout, in 1994, forced the to end that playing year. there was no World Series champion.
1995 was the year of that work stoppage, which forced a regular season with just 144 games.
The 2020 season was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic for four months and contained only 60 games, mostly in empty stadiums.