LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 22: Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. and Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark speak during a press conference before Game 3 of the Championship Round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic between Team USA and Team Puerto Rico on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/WBCI/MLB via Getty Images)

And who do you think are the winners of the CBA negotiations? The fans of course.

After a 99th day owner led lockout, Major League Baseball has arrived at labor peace.  While many of the leaders of the players in Union did not vote to ratify the new deal, the rank in file players wanted to get back on the field, and voted to return.

So what will be new when baseball returns to the field, and why do we say that fans will like the changes?  How about the universal designated hitter?  Who was really into hitters pitching and double switches in the National League, maybe your baseball purist Uncle, but other than that, I think this is a win for fans, and for players. 

Courtesy of https://www.mlb.com/apps

Now players like Nelson Cruz, are marketable in both leagues as a free agent.  This will lead to more hits, more runs, and more excitement on the National league side.

There will be 12 teams in the playoffs starting this season, moving up from 10.  League owners wanted 14 teams, which the players rejected, but they split the difference and now 12 teams are in the playoffs with the top two Divisional winners in each League getting a bye in the first round. 

The idea behind this is that more markets will get excited about September, and October baseball because in theory more teams will have a chance to make the playoffs.  One of the major issues with baseball is that too many teams are purposely tanking every year because they don’t think they can compete at the highest level.

So, instead they would field bad teams and rack up top draft picks every year and try to build with those draft picks, and be content to be bad until their prospects grow in two or three years.  Now more teams will have a chance a making the playoffs. 

Another important development is that MLB is no longer just giving the #1 draft based on the worst record.  A draft lottery has been put in place, so having bad record does not guarantee a top 5 pick.

There will also be a committee working on evolving the game for the better that will have active players, league chosen representatives, and an umpire.  Items on their agenda right away, working on instituting a pitch clock, figuring out whether to ban the shift, the size of bases, and other new innovations.

Important notes from the new CBA

The Season will start April 7th, and will play a full 162 games. Spring training opens March 13th.

Free agency started as soon as the CBA was signed, which will start a flurry of signings.

For the first time in history, MLB player uniforms will feature advertising, as patches on player jerseys, and decals on batting helmets.

The Competitive Balance tax, very similar to the NBA’s luxury tax is moving up from 210 million to 230 million, and will move to 244 million dollars by 2026.

While the media was screaming about how the lockout was killing the game and was hurting the fans, I believe that what came out of it was positive and will be better for the game in the long run.  Ok, yes I’m apart of the media that said it was hurting the game and the fans, but that was before I saw what was in the CBA.

 The game is finally starting to evolve, and that’s a good thing for everyone involved. The start of a new full 162 game season, is around the corner and I’m excited about it, you should be too.