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MLB, players reach tentative labor deal to end lockout

The Hill logo The Hill 3/10/2022 Olafimihan Oshin
MLB, players reach tentative labor deal to end lockout © Doug Pensinger/Getty Images MLB, players reach tentative labor deal to end lockout

The MLB and its players union, Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), has agreed to a tentative labor agreement to end the lockout, ESPN reported.

In a Twitter thread on Thursday, ESPN reporter Jeff Passan said that 26 executive subcommittee and player union representatives voted in favor of the new labor agreement.

Passan also said that club players can report for spring training as early as tomorrow, adding that pending transactions unfreeze upon ratification, meaning free agents can sign with teams, and trades are also allowed as well.

The new collective bargaining agreement includes the minimum salary for players jumping from $570,500 to $780,000, and a bonus pool worth $50 million which will be distributed among younger players who haven't reached salary arbitration thresholds.

Both sides also agreed on expanding the league's postseason to 12 teams, and the league will now feature advertisements on player uniforms, displaying patches on jerseys and decals on batting helmets, according to ESPN.

The new agreement ends the 99-day lockout, which began last December after league owners locked out players.

League owners and the players union struck out multiple times in trying to reach an agreement to end the lockout, causing the league to cancel Opening Day and some regular-season games as a result, but those games will be restored to the schedule under the new agreement.

This was the ninth work stoppage in MLB history and the first one since the 1994-1995 players' strike where most of the 1994 regular season and World Series games were canceled.

In a previous statement, the Biden administration recently encouraged the club owners and players union to reach an agreement.

"The best role for government is to encourage the parties to commit themselves fully to collective bargaining that reaches an agreement, and that's how we feel here," White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said last week. "We encourage Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association to stay at the bargaining table and reach an agreement as soon as they can so we can kick off the season and get back to enjoying baseball games."

The MLB's 162-game regular season will begin on April 7, ESPN noted.

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