The new CBA and what it means for the Orioles

Last night, just hours before the 12:01am deadline, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association came to terms on a brand new Collective Bargaining Agreement that will extend another five years. This was first reported by Ken Rosenthal on Twitter, as seen here.

Here are the key points included in the new CBA:

  • Rosters will not be increased to 26. Players were concerned with pace of game, and service time manipulation in September, according to Rosenthal.
  • Luxury tax threshold increases over the next five years. In 2017, it increases from $189MM, to around $195MM. In 2018, it moves to $197MM, in 2019 to $206MM, and finally in 2020, it hits $208MM. This is reported by Rosenthal as well.
  • Teams that spend well-over the luxury tax threshold will be hit with a 50%-60% penalty. Furthermore, teams that greatly exceed the threshold will be hit with up to a 90% penalty fee.
  • Teams will be allowed just $5MM to spend on international free agents.
  • Beginning for the 2018 offseason, first-round draft picks will no longer be given up to sign players who declined a Qualifying Offer.
  • Any team that signs a player who declined a Qualifying Offer will sacrifice a draft pick, however, teams that are over the luxury tax threshold will forfeit a second round, and a fifth round pick. Teams that are under the threshold would only half to sacrifice a third round pick.
  • A player can no longer receive a Qualifying Offer more than once.
  • If a player declines a Qualifying Offer, and signs with another team for more than $50MM, the team that presented the Qualifying Offer will receive compensation in the form of a draft pick, depending on the market of the team that loses the player.
  • The All-Star Game will no longer determine home field advantage in the World Series. Instead, the pennant winner with the best record will receive the advantage.
  • The minimum stay on the DL is reduced from 15 games to 10.

Here’s how these new guidelines could affect the Orioles in the future:

  • Buck Showalter is one of the best matchup managers in the game. Without the extra spot on the roster, it potentially takes away an extra bench role. On the other hand, it could take away another fresh arm in the bullpen, or the dreaded sixth starter. The O’s already have six candidates for the rotation (Tillman, Gausman, Bundy, Jimenez, Miley, Gallardo).
  • The luxury tax threshold increase shouldn’t effect the O’s too much unless they really plan on opening that checkbook. According to Roster Resource, the Orioles end of 2016 payroll was $154MM. From my understanding, there is no plan to drastically increase payroll by signing any big name players to monster contracts, so they may be alright there for a few years.
  • As far as the international market goes, the Orioles didn’t acquire anyone last season because they picked up Franderlyn Romero from the Reds, in exchange for two slots in the international draft pool. With the draft being discontinued, the Orioles can search the international market for guys that could help improve the club down the road. Those guys do exist, as Miguel Cabrera was a part of the international draft, and he was signed for just $1.9MM in 1999.
  • The Orioles shouldn’t have much to worry about when it comes to relinquishing a draft pick. Like I said, they shouldn’t come in over the new luxury tax threshold, which would mean if they signed a player that rejected a qualifying offer, they would relinquish a third round pick. Historically, the Orioles have signed just a few recognizable names since 2001. In 2003 their selected Chris Ray in the third round, 2004 was Jeff Fiorentino, 2006 was someone named Britton, and in 2011 they selected Mike Wright.
  • With the All-Star game no longer impacting the World Series, it once again becomes a meaningless exhibition game. Therefore, expect players to put a little less into the mid-summer classic, and a little more into the home stretch. Exciting times should follow.
  • The DL minimum stint is now reduced to 10 games, from 15. This could possibly take away the “retro to” days, as normally you’d see a retro’ed period of right around five days anyway.

I completely left out the smokeless tobacco ban for new players entering the major league, however, current players are grandfathered in. This plays out nicely for Chris Davis.


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