It was announced today that the Bull League’s teams and executives have reached terms with the Players’ Association in renewing the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The players will need to ratify the new agreement, but it is believed to have majority support.
The biggest change, which takes effect immediately after the playoffs, in the 2017-2018 offseason, will be the elimination of Type A and B free agents, and other changes to compensation picks and the role of drafted players.
Starting at the end of this season’s playoffs, players who play an entire season with one team become eligible for that team to earn a compensation draft pick should they fail to re-sign with that club. These players must be given a qualifying offer for a single season extension, worth approximately the average of the top 125 players. If the players decline the offer, the club will be entitled to a supplemental draft pick in the following June amateur draft.
If that player signs with another team, that team will lose their first round draft pick, unless that team selects in the top 10 of the round, in which case they lose their second-highest pick (either a 1st round supplemental or 2nd round pick).
Newly drafted players, who often are not full members of the Players Association until later in their careers, are also affected. Now, a drafted player cannot be signed to a major league contract, but instead must be given a minor league contract.
The arbitration qualifying conditions have also changed under the new agreement. The top 22% of players are now eligible for salary arbitration after just two years of service, instead of the top 17% of players.
Minimum player salary rises from $502,000 to $525,000.
The Players Association was overall disappointed on one sticky bargaining point, however. The so-called “10/5” rule was not agreed to by the team executives, and despite the insistence by the players, the Association eventually agreed in order to avoid a lockout. Players with 10 years of service, and 5 with the same club, had hoped to receive automatic trade veto in the new CBA, but this will not be the case.
Players qualifying service rises from 75 days to 90 days. This means a player will have completed one “year” of service for contract calculation purposes after 90 days, instead of 75 days. This value is used to calculate the years of service for arbitration, free agency, etc.
In other more player-friendly changes, the length of time a player may be on the designated for assignment (DFA) list is reduced from 21 days to 10 days, but the waiver period length will remain at 7 days.
Finally, the disabled list length will be reduced from 15 days to 10 days starting next season.