With the new collective bargaining agreement, I feel like there are dozens of interesting parts and details we can explore. More and more details have been revealed on Thursday, with finalization of the CBA still technically pending.
We will probably delve into the convoluted new qualifying offer system and the new international landscape in separate posts, but for now here are some thoughts on important details, summarized nicely by the Associated Press.
In the first year of the new CBA, the minimum salary will be $535,000, up 5.4% from $507,500, the minimum number in both 2015 and 2016. That initial increase is a drop off from each of the last two collective bargaining agreements.
In 2007, the minimum salary went up from $327,500 to $380,000, a 16.0% increase. Then in 2012, the increase was 15.9%, up from $414,000 to $480,000.
The CBA also calls for the minimum salary to increase to $545,000 in 2018 and $555,000 in 2019, followed by cost of living increases in 2020 and 2021.
Minor league minimum salaries for those on a 40-man roster for at least a second time — Ross Stripling, Carlos Frias, et al — are $86,500 in 2017, $88,000 in 2018 and $89,500 in 2019, followed by COLA increases in the final two years. The 2017 figure is a 4.6% increase over the $82,700 minimum in 2016.
I haven’t yet seen minor league minimum salaries for first-timers on the 40-man — for the Dodgers in 2017, that would be Chase De Jong, Jacob Rhame and Kyle Farmer. The minimum salary in 2016 for this group was $41,400.
The 15-day disabled list stint is no more, replaced by a new 10-day DL. Lowering the minimum days on the shelf will in theory make teams more likely to use the DL rather than play shorthanded, or will at least make the decision easier knowing such a move wouldn’t lose a player for too extended a period.
The new, shorter DL could mean more shuffling of pitchers, starting or otherwise, especially if there are off days built in, meaning a DL stint would only mean one missed start.
In practice, we shall see.
In 2016, the Dodgers set a record by placing 28 different players on the DL, and they also totaled 33 different disabled list trips. Outside of the start of the season — when Yasmani Grandal and Howie Kendrick missed the first week of the regular season, able to backdate their DL stints into spring training — the Dodgers had no DL stints that were only the minimum 15 days.
They did have one 17-day stint (Carl Crawford) and two 18-day stints (Yasiel Puig, Bud Norris).
Beginning in 2018, the regular season will increase by four days, up from 183 days long to 187 days. That gives players an extra four days of rest over the long, grueling season.
It also means the season will presumably start on a Wednesday rather than a Sunday, and will end on a Sunday.
The AP also notes, “There are additional limitations on the start times of night games on getaway days,” which makes perfect sense.
This time, it doesn’t count
After 14 years, the All-Star Game will no longer determine home field advantage in the World Series. An idea born out of the 2002 midsummer classic tie in Milwaukee, the American League had home field advantage in the World Series in 11 of the last 14 seasons by virtue of winning the All-Star Game (tough the National League did win eight of the 14 World Series during that span).
There hasn’t been an All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium since 1980, an even longer drought since a World Series has been set at Chavez Ravine.
Starting in 2017, home field in the World Series will go to the pennant winner with the best regular season record. But what if the two teams are tied?
If World Series teams had same RS record, tiebreakers are 1) head-to-head (if they met in interleague) and 2) in-division record. @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 1, 2016
So far, the minutiae that I adore the most is this:
Every home clubhouse must now have a chef. And spring-training buses must have at least two seats per player. This was important to them.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 1, 2016