You’ve heard most of the broader points of the new collective bargaining agreement. A few other new rules:
• Instant replay to include fair or foul calls and trapped balls.
• The two new wild cards are coming in 2012 and there seems certain to be one-game playoff for those teams.
• Participation in the All-Star Game will be required unless the player is unable to play due to injury or excused by commissioner.
• All players subject to social media policy
• A “program of mandatory evaluation” for any players with alcohol-related offenses
• There will be six draft picks immediately after the first round and second round given out via lottery to teams with 10 lowest revenues and/or 10 smallest markets.
• Draft signing deadline moves from Aug. 15 to between July 12 and 18.
• Teams that go more than five percent over draft slot rates will be punished with a 75 percent tax. From 5-10 percent over, a 75-percent tax and loss of first-round pick the next year.
• There will be a finite pool of international signing money each year.
• Starting in 2013 offseason, teams will be able to trade their available international player bonus money. Those amounts will be determined by the strength of teams. Meaning bad teams can spent more on international players than good teams. So in theory, if the Red Sox really wanted to sign a certain player, they could obtain the money to do so.
• The new, safer helmets worn in the minors will be mandatory in 2013.
• The luxury tax limit remains at $178 million for 2012. But the tax actually decreases from 22.5 percent to 17.5 percent. Then it will rise to $189 million for the remainder of the CBA.
• Random HGH blood tests will occur in spring training and in offseason starting in 2012-13. Initial tests will determine whether blood testing is too intrusive on game days. Refinements of testing program to come.
• Drafted players cannot sign major league deals.
• Roster limit goes to 26 for “certain regular or split doubleheaders”
• Pre-draft drug testing for the top 200 prospects
• Type A and Type B free agent draft compensation will be eliminated beginning in the 2012-13 off-season. Starting next winter, clubs that offer a free agent of at least $12.4 million in average annual value would receive first-round compensation if the player rejects the qualifying offer and signs with another club, who would forfeit the draft pick as compensation. The $12.4 million figure may rise each year.
• There will be a tobacco policy (wanted by the union) that allows for use but prohibits tobacco products visible in interviews and interaction with fans. Players will not be able to carry tobacco tins in their uniform pants. That’s you, Josh Beckett.
Lots to think about here. Clearly a lot will be changing in baseball.
Maury Brown’s Business of Baseball site has a lot of the details.