MLB Lockout: New 2022 Collective Bargaining Details
Major League Baseball is back with a new collective bargaining agreement after a 99-day lockout. What we have is a structure that is largely the same as the previous system. There are a few tweaks, so let’s look at the details.
The lowest possible major league salary is $700,000 in 2022, a 22.7% increase from $570,500 last year. Minimum wages tend to take big jumps in the first year of a new collective agreement, so it’s not all that new. This is the largest first-year minimum wage increase since a 50% jump from $200,000 to $300,000 in 2003. First-year increases over the last three CTCs were 16.2% (2007), 15.9% (2012) and 5.4% (2017).
What’s notable here are the bigger raises throughout the contract. Annual minimum wages:
During the previous CTC, the minimum wage increased from $535,000 in 2017 to $570,500 in 2021, an increase of 6.6%. This CBA sees the minimum wage increase by 11.4% over the duration of the agreement.
Minor league salaries for players on the 40-man roster have also increased. In 2021, players on their first major league contract (last year on the Dodgers it was Andre Jackson, Edwin Uceta, Zach Reks and Gerardo Carrillo) had a minimum salary of $46,600 in the minors. Others on later major league contracts had a $93,000 minimum wage in the minors.
The new minor league minimums for those on the 40-man roster, according to Ronald Blum at The Associated Press:
2022: $57,200 for first-year players; $114,100 for those after
2023: $58,800; $117,400
2024: $60,300; $120,600
2025: $62,000; $123,900
2026: $63,600; $127,100
The 2022 Dodgers freshmen include Jacob Amaya, Michael Grove, Eddys Leonard, James Outman and Jorbit Vivas, who were added to the 40-man roster in November. Their minimum mining wage this year would be $57,200.
Competitive equilibrium tax
The thresholds were a sticking point in negotiations, with the players’ union noting at various times that the tax played out as a salary cap more than originally intended. Here are the first thresholds for each year of the ABC:
2022: 230 million dollars
2023: 233 million dollars
2024: 237 million dollars
2025: $241 million
2026: 244 million dollars
This year’s threshold is a 9.5% increase from the $210 million threshold from 2021. The first year’s threshold sits almost exactly in the middle of both sides’ positions in December at the start of the lockdown . The players initially asked for $245 million in the first year, and the owners offered $214 million.
Those December positions for the CBA’s final year had owners at $220 million and players at $273 million, with the final number at $244 million, slightly below the midpoint (244.5 million of dollars).
There are threshold levels with increased penalties in increments of $20 million, just like the old collective agreement. But the new ABC has added a fourth, more punitive tier, trying to rein in runaway spending. The tax rates remain the same for the first three levels, including increased rates if the threshold is exceeded in successive years.
Competitive tax rates on balance
|Stage||Amount 2022||1st payer||2nd payer||3rd payer|
|Stage||Amount 2022||1st payer||2nd payer||3rd payer|
|First threshold (n)||$230 million||20.0%||30.0%||50.0%|
|Second threshold (n + $20m)||$250 million||32.0%||42.0%||62.0%|
|Third threshold (n + $40M)||$270 million||62.5%||75.0%||95.0%|
|Fourth threshold (n + $60m)||$290 million||80.0%||90.0%||110.0%|
h/t Associated Press for 4th Level information
For 2022, these next tiers are $230 million, $250 million, $270 million, and $290 million.
The Dodgers in 2021 had a payroll for competitive tax purposes of $285.6 million, which, at $75.6 million over the initial threshold, would have qualified for the fourth tier had it existed. . With players currently under contract for 2022, including Trevor Bauer, plus assumptions for players eligible for salary arbitration and those with less than three years of service, the Dodgers are at around $235 million for CBT this year. , with more moves to Craft.
Playoffs increased from 10 to 12 teams and the introduction of a wildcard series rather than two wildcards Games. The top two division winners in each league get byes into the division series. The division winner with the third-best record is the No. 3 seed and plays the sixth seed in the best-of-three wildcard round. The Athletic’s Jayson Stark has more details:
These tiebreaker games need to bite the dust to ensure the Wild Card Series can start two days after the regular season ends.
That’s especially true in the playoffs, which need to fit into a tighter window so World Series dates don’t have to be moved.
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) March 10, 2022
In the wild card round, the highest seed hosts all three matches.
Pre-arbitrage bonus pool
Getting young players better paid was a stated priority for the players’ union, and it was one of their biggest wins. Each CBA year, there is a $50 million bonus pool to be divided among the top 100 players (decided late by a committee) who have not yet reached salary arbitration eligibility.
The Score’s Travis Sawchik has more details on the bonuses:
Also bonuses for All-MLB 1st and 2nd team awards. The rest of the pool is split among the top 100 pre-arb players based on some sort of WAR metric to be determined
— Travis Sawchik (@Travis_Sawchik) March 10, 2022
It’s something new and to see the two parties very far apart in the negotiations. In December, when the lockout began, players requested a bonus pool for this group of $105 million. The owners didn’t want to have a bonus pool. This was one of the areas that saw only incremental moves from both sides, $5 million at a time in most cases until the final week of negotiations.
General players have three option seasons, but under the old rules each of these seasons could be sent to minors a theoretically unlimited number of times. Under the new CBA, players can now only be drafted five times in a single season.
Presumably, once a player has been capped five times in a season, they would need to be waived before being fired again, although full details have yet to emerge.
This was seen as a quality of life issue for players, especially with the increase in churn over the past few seasons. Three Dodgers have been optioned more than five times in 2021 – Mitch White has been dispatched 11 times, Edwin Uceta eight times and Luke Raley seven times.
Other notable information about the ABC
Universal designated hitter in both leagues.
- A draft lottery, with the top six picks no longer solely determined by the record. The final three records will each have a 16.5% chance at the first pick, with the rest of the odds split among the other 15 non-playoff teams. According to MLB.com: “Revenue-sharing recipients would not be eligible to receive lottery selections for three consecutive years, while non-recipients would not be eligible to receive lottery selections for consecutive years. “
The 18 non-eliminating clubs will enter a lottery for the top six picks. The percentage chance of each team getting the #1 pick, in reverse order of win percentages: pic.twitter.com/lzWR3PeOqW
—Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) March 11, 2022
We’ll dive deeper into many of these topics as more details emerge, but this is just a preview of the new deal for now.