MLB lockout finally comes to an end

Team owners, players union reaches an agreement that allows a full season to begin on April 7

MLB returns after a 99 day lockout.

Joshua F. Madison

MLB returns after a 99 day lockout.

Tanner Curtis, Sports Editor

After a long offseason of heated arguments and shady comments to the media and on Twitter, the Major League Baseball Players Union and the MLB owners have come to a new collective Bargaining Agreement and ended the 99 day lockout.

For a little background information, a CBA is an agreement between a union and leadership of a company. All of the major professional sports have a CBA and every time the contract expires there are always debates when reaching a new agreement. Sometimes these debates result in the owners locking out the players, like they did in December, or the players going on strike. As is often the case when this happens, games are canceled.  

Luckily this year the MLBPA and owners were able to work quick enough to make sure all 162 games in the season will be played even though owners originally said that some games would be canceled. 

Most often, the greatest disagreements in these negotiations are based around money because the players always want more and owners always want to give less. In this new agreement, the players got what they wanted, which was an increase in the base minimum salary, which now starts at $700,000 and jumps by $20,000 each year through 2026.

The competitive balance tax, which is the closest thing the MLB has to a salary cap, was also set. The players were hoping for it to be a little higher, but they agreed to it being set at $230 million this season, which is a $20 million increase from last season. In 2025 it increases to $241 million and then jumps to $244 million by 2026, the last year of this CBA.

After most of the money was determined the two sides also had to figure out new rules changes for the league. The biggest change was probably the expansion to the 12-team playoff, meaning six teams from each league will make it rather than five. This change didn’t make all of the MLB fans happy because most people didn’t have any problems with the 10-team playoff format already in place. In this format, the top two teams in each league receive first round byes.

A few rules were reverted back to the pre-COVID times, including getting rid of runners starting on second base during extra innings, and 7-inning games on days when teams play double headers. All games are now nine innings. So baseball will be back to normal for the most part in the 2022 season.

One of the most exciting rule changes is getting rid of pitchers hitting in the National League. The universal designated hitter has been a rule that was a long-time coming and will finally eliminate the issue many teams faced on a game-by-game basis about where to hit the ninth hitter, who was generally an automatic out for half the game.

A lot of this deal is just numbers and percentages being dealt between the players and owners that most people don’t care about. But what baseball fans are excited about is the MLB season officially starting on April 7. 

Now fans can focus on the free agency frenzy MLB has seen this week, and A’s fans can focus on learning all of their new players’ names.