It took nearly round-the-clock bargaining over the past two days and nights, but Major League Baseball and its players’ union have kept their 21-year streak of labor peace intact for another five years. Shortly before 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, the two sides reached agreement on a new five-year collective bargaining agreement that will extend through the 2021 season. The deal was agreed to just over three hours before the old collective bargaining agreement would have expired at 12:01 ET Thursday morning. The new agreement averts a potential lockout of the players that would have frozen baseball’s hot stove and pulled the plug on the major league portion of next week’s winter meetings.

By the time the deal was reached on Wednesday, the two sides had been negotiating almost continuously for more than 24 hours — on little or no sleep. It is believed that the final hurdle was an agreement on a new luxury-tax system, in tandem with an end to draft-pick compensation for free agents signed by all but a handful of teams.

Sources said the luxury-tax threshold will jump from $189 million to $195 million next year, $197 million in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $209 million in 2020 and $210 million in 2021. Additionally, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the CBA will impose a sixty to seventy percent penalty for teams that spend well above the luxury tax line — i.e., payrolls north of $250MM. Jayson Stark of ESPN adds that teams that greatly exceed the luxury tax threshold can be penalized at up to a ninety percent tax.

Teams that sign a premium free agent would no longer have to give up a first-round draft pick to the team that lost that player starting next season. However, all teams stand to sacrifice draft picks for signing players that turn down the qualifying offer, but at varying levels. Organizations that are over the luxury tax line will punt a second and a fifth-round choice, while those who are under the threshold would stand to sacrifice a third-rounder. Players will no longer be able to receive more than a single qualifying offer, as reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox. Additionally, a team whose QO-declining player signs elsewhere will only receive compensation if that player signs for $50MM or more, and the draft compensation will be dependent upon the market size of the team that loses a free agent.

Some additional fine points to the deal (which covers the 2017-21 seasons):

– Although owners pushed for months to include international players in the amateur draft, they dropped that demand this week, sources said. In its place, teams would work under a revised system of bonus pools that would place a hard cap on how much each club can spend to sign foreign-born players. The hard cap is expected to be in the $5-6 million range.

– While there was much speculation that the rosters would expand from 25 to 26 players, and that the current rules allowing all 40 men from the 40-man roster to be called up on September first would be changed, no changes will be made to either.

– The sides have talked about starting future seasons four or five days earlier than in the past, as a means to give teams more days off during the regular season. The sides also have discussed scheduling more day games when teams face long flights following those games.

– There would be changes to baseball’s revenue-sharing formula, which would affect both payers and recipients. Among the changes include the “performance factor” element of the revenue-sharing system being removed, as per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. That had functioned as what Passan terms a “revenue-sharing multiplier,” so its removal will likely mean that large-budget clubs are required to pay less into the pool. Also, the Oakland Athletics “will be phased out as a revenue-sharing recipient over the next four years,” according to Rosenthal. This has to do with them being frequent recipients of the system, yet rarely having a big budget, despite playing the large market of the bay area, and being owned by the fourth richest owner in MLB.

– The sides have discussed numerous changes to the June amateur draft. Those changes could include everything from a revamped slotting system to trading picks. Details have yet to emerge.

– It is expected that tougher penalties will be imposed on players who violate baseball’s joint drug agreement. A number of players have spoken publicly about the need for longer suspensions for those who test positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

– Changes also are likely in baseball’s domestic violence policy. Details have yet to emerge.

– The sides have discussed the possibility of playing games outside of North America during the regular season in future seasons. It isn’t known yet exactly where those games would be scheduled, but commissioner Rob Manfred has said publicly he would like to see regular-season games played in London.

The agreement also would address numerous other issues, from service-time rules to expansion, from replay to pace of game and from meal money to ways to discourage tanking. However, it might be as long as several weeks until all of those changes will be known publicly.

Baseball had eight work stoppages from 1972-95, the last a 7 1/2-month strike in 1994-95 that led to the first cancellation of the World Series in 90 years. In 2002, an agreement was reached just before players were set to strike.

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