MLB’s Health and Upcoming Labor Deal

Major League Baseball is close to finalizing a new labor agreement that would extend peace for 20 years.

This is good news–it exhibits that baseball is possibly in the best long-term health of any of the three major sports. That said, with anything that is a positive there is usually some type of drawback.

The following would be stipulations of the new labor agreement:

  1. It will pave the way for realignment of the sport into two 15-team leagues, adding an additional wild-card team in each league.
  2. Interleague play will be spread evenly throughout all six months of the regular season.
  3. Significant changes to the draft, free agency and the so-called “Competitive Balance Tax.”

Sources won’t predict how soon a deal could be finalized but it is speculated that these rumored changes would be in effect by the 2013 season.

I’m indifferent on how I feel about it. I feel like the return to the 15-team leagues is pretty old school. I like it. I think adding an additional playoff team puts added incentive on being the #1 seed entering the playoffs and does a nice job of keeping fan interest up for those that follow the game. It’s like an extra lottery ticket added to the raffle. Some will argue that it dilutes the significance of making the playoffs; but I’d rather this than having just the top two teams from each league square off.

Interleague play I’ve never had a problem with. It will be interesting to see how it is spread so that it’s taking place virtually every day of the regular season. Again, if you’re going to have interleague play in general, this isn’t really a drawback for me as a fan.