Posted on: November 22, 2011 5:23 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 5:31 pm

Free agent status altered for several players

By Matt Snyder

With the new collective bargaining agreement -- details provided by Danny Knobler here -- free agent compensation will be dramatically changed starting next offseason. This time around, though, there are some players who have had their status changed, which affects draft pick compensation to teams that lose players to free agency.

These five players were slotted as Type A free agents, but will now be considered Type B: Matt Capps, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel, Ramon Hernandez and Darren Oliver.

Teams will not have to offer arbitration to those players in order to receive compensation. And the teams that sign those players will not lose any picks. Under the old system, if one of those five players signed with one of the top 15 teams in the draft, signing that player would cost the new team a second-round pick. If the team was drafting 16-30, it would cost a first-rounder. So, essentially, it just got more attractive to sign one of those five players.

Heath Bell, Michael Cuddyer, Kelly Johnson, Ryan Madson, Francisco Rodriguez and Josh Willingham are Type A free agents that will be treated as follows, from an MLB press release:
A Club that signs one of (these) six Type A Players shall not forfeit a regular Draft choice to the Player’s former Club. If the Player’s former Club offers the player arbitration, and the Player declines the offer, the former Club shall receive: (a) a draft choice in the same round and immediately prior to the draft choice that the signing Club otherwise would have forfeited, and (b) a compensation round selection.
All Type A free agents must be offered arbitration by midnight on November 23, otherwise the club forfeits the rights to compensation. Also, Carlos Beltran and Takashi Saito cannot be offered arbitration.

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Posted on: November 19, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2011 6:48 pm

Report: New CBA to include HGH testing

Bud SeligBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement will include blood test for human growth hormone will be part of the next Major League Baseball collective bargaining agreement, the New York Times' Michael S. Schmidt reports.

If baseball does indeed test for HGH, it will be the first of the major professional sports in the United States to do so. Players who test positive for HGH will face the same punishment as current steroid users face, a 50-game suspension for the first-time failure. Testing would begin in February.

Baseball started blood testing in the minor leagues in 2010.

The NFL attempted to add blood testing for HGH in its last CBA, but was unable to do so.

The Associated Press also reports the new free agent compensation system will be in effect for several of the current free agent players, although not for the top players, such as Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. Teams signing some Type A free agents will not be penalized a draft pick. FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweeted this should help the top free-agent relievers on the market, such as Heath Bell and Ryan Madson. Rosenthal notes that teams losing a Type A free agent will still get compensated with draft picks.

In addition, the minimum salary for 2012 will be $480,000. 

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Posted on: November 17, 2011 7:03 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 8:27 pm

MLBPA will announce new CBA next week

By Matt Snyder

Related Coverage
Talk about showing the NBA (and the NFL, for that matter) how it's done. Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, as Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com has confirmed a deal will be announced early next week.

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com is reporting the deal is for five years. If that's true, it will be November of 2016 when we next have this conversation. Hopefully it will be less than a month after the end of the World Series again that time around.

Details of the deal aren't all fully available just yet, but we already know about the Astros move to the American League and the strong likelihood that there will be a one-game playoff between two wild-card teams for the right to face the No. 1 seed in the LDS round. Otherwise, expect mild tweaks -- such as draft slotting or different draft compensation for losing free agents -- that won't really be noticed much by the casual fan. No, there's no talk of a salary cap or changing the designated hitter rule, two subjects that seem to be hot topics among fans but not among either MLB or the MLBPA.

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Posted on: November 13, 2011 1:02 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 9:44 am

Baseball on verge of labor agreement

By Evan Brunell

Baseball is nearing agreement on a new labor agreement, Fox Sports reports.

Despite assurances all season that the labor negotiations were going smoothly and could be wrapped up in time for the World Series, that did not happen. One of the biggest sticking points has been commissioner Bud Selig's adamance that the amateur draft have a slotting system. Players viewed a slotting system, which would limit the amount of dollars drafted players could sign for depending on where they were picked, as a form of a salary cap.

However, it appears that both sides are closing in on a resolution with the draft process. The deal is "expected to include significant restraints on the amount of money teams spend on draft picks and significant changes in draft-pick compensation for free agents," writes Ken Rosenthal. Previous reports had something akin to a luxury tax being in place for the draft class, something ESPN's Buster Olney confirmed Monday.

While teams can still spend as much as they want on the draft, clubs will be taxed for going over a certain amount of dollars based on a 10-round ceiling. If a team surpasses the ceiling one time, it will be taxed money. A second time would cost a top draft pick. In addition, first-round compensation is expected to disappear, which no longer cause teams to lose their first-round pick due to signing a top free agent. If it goes into effect for 2012, the Phillies will benefit by signing closer Jonathan Papelbon and keeping its pick.

Olney characterized talks as at "the 10-yard line," so we could hear something by the end of Monday.

The changes sound good -- in theory. But restricting the earnings of amateur players will only push them to other sports, plus it's not as if the Yankees have been dominating draft spending in recent years. The Pirates spent the most on the 2011 draft, setting records in the process. The record Pittsburgh passed was not the Yankees, though. It was the Nationals. Other teams passed Washington's old record in 2011 too, including the Nationals themselves, Royals, Cubs and Diamondbacks. The Rays, Mariners, Padres, Blue Jays and Red Sox were the only other teams to top $10 million in spending.

And a luxury tax is supposed to be good for the draft class? It's hard to envision that. Not only would a luxury tax scare away teams who don't have large revenue, it opens up the field for teams do have such revenue to pay over and above the tax because they can afford it. Selig's goals make some sense, but in practice they could be disastrous.

There's no word on when a new CBA would be announced, but it could happen as early as Sunday or Monday. Both sides are scrambling to have something in place before the GM meetings start on Tuesday -- and especially before owners meetings on Thursday. The union is meeting with player agents Monday through Wednesday, so there is motivation to get something done, fast. Aside from the draft issue, Rosenthal writes that there are other "significant" issues that could delay completion of the CBA, but that a new agreement will be in place well before the previous agreement expires on Dec. 11.

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Posted on: November 9, 2011 2:39 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 2:42 pm

MLB CBA update: Looking good ...

By Matt Snyder

First the NFL season was threatened, then the NBA actually went far enough to start cancelling games (and still hasn't come to an agreement) and now it's Major League Baseball's turn to come up with a new collective bargaining agreement between ownership and players. The good news is that these talks seem far less contentious than those of the NFL and NBA. In fact, it sounds like a deal is close to being hammered out, just weeks after the World Series ended.

Tuesday night, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that there was "significant progress" made during the day. Wednesday early afternoon, Maury Brown of The Business of Baseball reported that a deal is "getting closer by the second." Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reported Wednesday that talks have taken "a step forward." Stark also has one source who believed an agreement would be reached by the end of the week but another told him it was only a "50-50" chance of talks being concluded by the end of the week.

Stark also notes the two sticking points in discussions. First of all, the owners prefer a hard slotting system when it comes to signing draft picks, which would hold down signing bonuses and ensure the highest picks are the highest paid. Secondly, the players oppose compensation for free agents leaving their incumbent teams -- or at least want less players to be considered "type-A" free agents.

The good news in all this is the stances by each side seem flexible and willing to compromise -- at least according to the reports we've seen thus far -- a problem in particular that has plagued the NBA. Nearing a deal this far away from the spring is a great sign.

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Posted on: September 24, 2011 10:28 am
Edited on: September 24, 2011 12:35 pm

Report: MLB to add wild card, 1-game playoff

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Major League Baseball will add a wild card team to each league and hold a one-game playoff for each league to determine which wild card advances to the Division Series, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports.

Sherman writes that one source told him the new playoff scenario is a "done deal," but another said nothing will be final until the collective bargaining agreement is ratified. The new system will possibly be ready for 2012, but will be implemented no later than 2013.

The report says both the players and owners hope to announce a new CBA during the World Series, although the two sides have not agreed on a slotting system for the draft. The two sides are also trying to finalize the new 15-team leagues with Houston moving to the American League, but that is hung up on the sale of the Astros to Jim Crane.

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Category: MLB
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