The New CBA

Paging Brian Oliver…Mr. Oliver, the white phone please…

In the interest of passing along the analysis for folks to digest over the next few days:

For my money — and it’s not my money — the knee-jerk reaction that two-sport athletes will be driven away is probably overblown. Baseball’s been losing that battle for quite some time now and it’s why the international pipeline has become so prominent.

On the other hand, as that first link lays out the $2.9M ceiling for under-23 IFAs is going to level the playing field and take away a tool for rebuilding that teams like Texas and Seattle have been using to rebuild. Perhaps some will chortle that the Nats have never come close to spending that kind of money post-Smiley, but now they can’t for at least the next five years.

As a consolation, there are some provisions to give small- and low-revenue clubs extra draft picks. More interesting is that these can be traded. That could be game-changing or it could be disastrous.

Perhaps the most interesting wrinkle is that immediately-on-the-40 deals are now disallowed. Just like the rule that changed amateur to first-year player, this is a move against Scott Boras. Might be good for the clubs, but like nearly everything else, it’s going to depress salaries.

Lastly, there seems to be a sentiment that this will chase more players to college. That’s true, but what remains to be seen is how teams will allocate their signing budgets. I haven’t seen anything to the effect of changing when players can be drafted out of college, but I somehow doubt that they’ll allow one-and-dones like the NBA.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

7 thoughts on “The New CBA”

  1. It will be interesting to see how the new CBA plays out from the amateur side of things, to be sure. Will teams start to lay off of HS players with letters of commitment, and tilt more toward JR-eligible / SR college players? Will the International “pool” fund limits apply to players from the NPL (whom I believe have a separate agreement with MLB)?

    I see some of the moves (no MLB contracts, punitative caps on draft expenditures) as being focused against the ‘super-agents’ like Boras, but the flipside is that the Players’ Association looks at this as just more $$$ to be poured into their pockets at Free Agency. This is likely why they signed off on some of the other items (HGH testing, tobacco use restrictions) so readily. The bottom line is, Boras & the other agents will just have to wait longer for the money they siphon off of the players they represent, but more Arbitration cases will likely be a side-effect.

  2. Just read about it over at HangingSliders …

    Sounds like two salary caps or pools for “amateur” players. One for the US draftees and one for International Signings. With increasing in severity penalties for going beyond them.

    Looks like they went after Boras for the major league contracts. He seems to get his top amateur talent major league contracts. No more of that.

  3. I’m still in the process of reading some of the articles linked to here. I did get through all of MLBBonusBaby’s article, though. It’s good that we maximized the chance to go overslot during the limited window that we had to do so because that option appears to be off the table.

    Seems to me that this all about making sure free agency is where clubs choose to spend or overspend and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Restricting the international dollars seems to me to be particularly unfair. No more Aroldis Chapman’s I guess. How would Yunesky Maya’s deal have been processed? It would have taken all of our cap money and given us no on the field return, correct?


    1. The more immediate effect is that Cepedes’ dreams of immediate riches just got blown to smithereens. That $30M windfall bonus he & his Agent/Buscone were looking for just got reduced to about $1.5M (or less).

    2. If I understant it right, the new rule would not have effected Chapman or Maya, as they are over the age of 23, and would not count against the IFA cap

  4. And I keep hearing “This will make the college game better” but I’m not sure how this will increase the number of scholarships a school has. Did not Cal nearly kill its program?

    1. I’m not seeing how the new CBA will “make the college game better” either. It might push 40-60 high school players per year into honoring their Letters of Committment & waiting to see if their draft stock improves, or nudge some of them into Indy Leagues, hoping to be signed as UFA’s.

      With the severe penalties being imposed for total ‘over-slot’ bonuses paid, the MLB owners might come back after a year or two & ask to re-think this part of the CBA, should their annual signing counts drop off significantly.

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