Friday, December 2, 2016

So What’s Changed in the New CBA?

Major League Baseball, the owners, the players and the MLB Players Association have reached a tentative five-year labor contract before the deadline on Thursday and quite a bit changed from the new collective bargaining agreement to the old. This should be expected, especially when 26 years old labor peace is on the line, but in the end the deal got done. Here is what changed in the new CBA and here are some of the changes you should expect to see in 2017 and beyond.

The All Star Game will no longer determine which league and team gets home-field advantage in the World Series after 14 seasons. Thank goodness. The team with the better regular season record will be at home for Game One and potentially Game Seven starting in the 2017 World Series.

The 15-Day DL is no more. It is now known as the 10-Day DL. Minor change but I like it, especially for a team like the Yankees who like to give their players “a day.”

The luxury tax will rise from $189 million to $195 million in 2017, $197 million in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $209 million in 2020 and $210 million in 2021. Tax penalties increase from 17.5 % to 20% for first time offenders who go over the luxury tax while second offenders continue to pay 30%. Teams like the Yankees who have gone over the luxury tax at least three consecutive years will see their penalties rise from 40% to 50%. There is also a surtax of 12% for teams who are $20 - $40 million above the threshold while teams with more than $40 million in salary over the threshold will pay 42.5%.

No longer will teams who sign qualifying offer attached players have to give up a first round draft pick or their highest pick in the draft. Under the new rules a player can only be offered a qualifying offer once in his career and the team signing the player lose their third highest pick, not their highest if they are a revenue sharing team, it’s second and fifth highest picks if the team paid luxury tax in the prior season and it’s second highest pick if it doesn’t fit any of the prior criteria. More complications but all you need to know is your first round pick is now safe.  

If the player signs a deal worth more than $50 million his old team will receive a pick at the end of the first round while the team would receive a Competitive Balance Round B pick if the contract signed is under $50 million. If that team pays luxury tax the draft pick would drop to after the fourth round regardless of the contract their previous player signed. THAT HURTS.

If you are more than $40 million over the luxury tax threshold your highest selection in the next draft immediately drops 10 places. THAT ALSO HURTS.

25 and 40 man rosters are still a thing. No 26 man rosters like previously reported. September call ups are also still a thing, and I like that.

Smokeless tobacco is now banned for all new players, or players who has less than one day of major league service. Older players are grandfathered in.

The regular season got four days longer but those are scheduled off days for teams and players.


Matt Holliday to the Yankees?

I have to admit that ever since the very beginning of free agency I have been against the idea but I feel like it would be irresponsible of me to not at least make the case for and against Matt Holliday in pinstripes. Holliday wanted to be a Yankee, he was very vocal about it, before signing with the St. Louis Cardinals and now that the 37-year old (in January) is a free agent once again the rumors that he could be Bronx bound are gaining traction once again. Let’s explore.

The New York Yankees have at least been rumored to be interested in the likes of Carlos Beltran and Edwin Encarnacion but you would have to think, especially considering the Yankees newfound sense of austerity, that Holliday would come far cheaper than either of those two DH candidates. Holliday, unlike Beltran, could spell Greg Bird against left-handed pitchers as well and play some first base while also getting some at bats as an outfielder as well. Holliday has played a whopping 1,698 games in left field but his defensive days, and definitely his better defensive days, may already be behind him.

I know I’ve preached for much of this young offseason that I wanted a player to DH that could also be counted on in the outfield and at first base, and Matt Holliday checks all those boxes, but I have also preached seeing the youth movement through until the end. Signing a 37-year old Matt Holliday does not do that, even if he does have a little bit left in the tank. I wouldn’t jump up and down and threaten to boycott the team if Holliday is signed but if you’re asking me if I personally want him, well that answer has to be no. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 12/2: The League vs. Jackie Robinson

If you have been reading these posts you know two days prior Jackie Robinson attacked the New York Yankees organization calling them racist for not having a black player in the league. Well it was on this day in 1952 that then Commissioner Ford Frick announced plans to take action against Robinson. Nothing much came of these comments or this plan from Frick so it must have all been simply water under the bridge.