MLB’s new CBA and how it affects the Pirates

This afternoon, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA announced a new collective bargaining agreement that will extend labor peace through the 2016 season. Not like it was ever in question, but the good news is that us baseball fans won’t have to suffer through any kinds of work stoppages in the near future. But let’s take a look at some of the changes to the new CBA and how those changes affect baseball and the Pirates organization.

Here are some highlights (or low lights) and how it affects the Pirates:

Beginning no later than the 2013 Postseason, Postseason play will be expanded for the first time since 1995. A second Wild Card will be awarded to the Club in each league with the second-best overall record among Clubs that do not win a division. The two Wild Card Clubs will play a single Postseason game, the winner of which will advance to the Division Series.

Well, this is good news. Essentially, it adds another playoff team, which increases the Bucs’ chances of earning a postseason birth. It is now even a possibility that a team can finish in 3rd place in their division and be a playoff team.

The Houston Astros will move to the American League West starting in 2013, creating two leagues of 15 Clubs each.

This affects the Pirates in two ways. One, it is easier to win a division when you have to beat 4 teams and not 5. So that’s good. However, the downside is that the Astros are currently one of the teams that the Pirates are actually better than.

Starting in 2013, Interleague games will be played throughout the entire schedule, rather than exclusively in specific inter-league segments.

Some people don’t like Interleague play, some people do. I do. It should be fun to get to see more and more teams play who we normally don’t get to see.

Active Roster limits will be expanded to 26 for certain regular or split doubleheaders.

This is actually pretty cool. If anyone remembers the whole fiasco we had last season where we had to option Josh Harrison for an extra pitcher. And by doing that, we were stuck with a player on our bench who might as well have not existed (Pedro Ciriaco) until we could call Harrison back up. This should stop that from happening.

Starting in 2012, “Type A” and “Type B” free agents and the use of the Elias ranking system will be eliminated. The current system of draft pick compensation will be replaced with the following system:

A. Only Players who have been with their Clubs for the entire season will be subject to compensation.

B. A free agent will be subject to compensation if his former Club offers him a guaranteed one-year contract with a salary equal to the average salary of the 125-highest paid Players from the prior season. The offer must be made at the end of the five-day free agent “quiet period,” and the Player will have seven days to accept the offer.

C. A Club that signs a player subject to compensation will forfeit its first round selection, unless it selects in the top 10, in which case it will forfeit its second highest selection in the draft.

D. The Player’s former Club will receive a selection at the end of the first round beginning after the last regularly scheduled selection in the round. The former Clubs will select based on reverse order of winning percentage from the prior championship season.

The Pirates rarely utilize the draft compensation part of the current system. The big difference here is that relief pitchers who were previously designated as “Type A” or “Type B” free agents will no longer carry a 1st or 2nd round pick with them if they sign with a team, which makes sense.

The percentage of players with two years of service who will be arbitration eligible will be increased from the top 17% to the top 22% in terms of service.

More Super Two players. A good deal for the players, not so much for the clubs. This means that Andrew McCutchen would have most likely been a Super Two player after last year, thus costing more next year.

Now for the Draft…

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