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‘Genuinely Thrilled’: MLB Opening Day Scheduled For April 7

After a 99-day lockout, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) have agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), ending the first work stoppage since the 1994-1995 season. 

“I am genuinely thrilled to be able to say that Major League Baseball is back and we’re going to play 162 games,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said according to MLB.com. “I do want to start by apologizing to our fans. I know that the last few months have been difficult. There’s a lot of uncertainty, at a point in time when there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world. [It’s] sort of the way the process of collective bargaining works sometimes, but I do apologize for it.  

“One of the good things about collective bargaining is that it gives our players an opportunity to have input on what their workplace and the game is going to look like going forward,” Manfred continued. “And they took full opportunity to provide that input during these negotiations. Our players are great, great athletes. I respect them. And I respect the input that we received from them during this process. And we really did learn a lot.”

The lockout was fraught with bad blood on both sides, with the MLBPA continually saying that the players wanted to get a deal done in order to play. The minimum salaries for players, competitive balance tax, and service time manipulation were just some of the issues players wanted to see addressed.

According to MLB.com, the new minimum salary will start at $700,000 and will increase $20,000 every year until 2026. The Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) threshold will be set at $230 million for the 2022 season, peaking at $244 million in 2026. The pre-arbitration bonus pool — which will benefit younger players — will be set at $50 million and distributed to 100 players based on awards. 

Additionally, the two sides have agreed to a 12-team playoff format with the two top division winners getting a bye, the universal designated hitter, as well as the implementation of an International Draft, among other changes. 

“Our union endured the second-longest work stoppage in its history to achieve significant progress in key areas that will improve not just current players’ rights and benefits, but those of generations to come,” MLBPA Director Tony Clark said in a statement. “Players remain engaged and unified from beginning to end, and in the process reenergized in our fraternity.”

Players are required to report to Spring Training by Sunday, with Opening Day scheduled for April 7. A full 162-game schedule will be played.

Manfred said he reached out to Clark after the deal was completed.

“I told him that I thought we had a great opportunity for the game in front of us and told him that I hope to work with him on things that are new in the agreement, like the effort to get to the international draft,” Manfred said. “More generally, on seizing the opportunity that I think is in front of us.”

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to sports@dailywire.com.

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