MLB roster changes nixed in final stages of CBA negotiations

Baseball players and owners had a deal to expand active rosters from 25 to 26 players for most of the season, but the union backed away in the final stages of collective bargaining.

Would have increased to 26 from 25, with September callups decreased

Philadelphia Phillies players stand in the dugout as they watch in the seventh inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park. (Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Baseball players and owners had a deal to expand active rosters from 25 to 26 players for most of the season, but the union backed away in the final stages of collective bargaining.

As part of the deal, the limit from Sept. 1 on would have been lowered from 40 to 28.

"We thought we were going to make an agreement, had a tentative agreement," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred told The Associated Press on Friday, "but nothing's done until it's done."

Union head Tony Clark characterized the talks differently and said the parties may revisit the topic during the five-year contract they agreed to Wednesday.

"I don't know that there was an agreement to do it and that it came apart. There was a lot of dialogue over the course of this round where we were moving in a direction that we inevitably weren't able to agree to," he said. "It simply got to the point with all of the moving pieces that were part of the conversation during the course of the year that we lived to talk about it another day."

Management and the union released details of the deal Friday, an agreement that will extend the sport's labor peace to 26 years since the 1994-95 strike — baseball's eighth work stoppage since 1972.

"We kept the game on the field," Manfred said. "We made an agreement within our current structure which I think shows that we have a durable structure. We moved some things our direction, and we moved some other things their direction."

Among the new details that emerged:

  • The penalty for a second stimulant violation goes up from 25 to 50 games and for a third rises from 80 to 100. The penalty for a first violation remains follow-up testing.
  • Random urine tests will increase from 3,200 to 4,800 in season and from 350 to 1,550 in the offseason, ensuring at least one offseason test for all 40-man roster players. Random blood test rise from 260 to 500 in season and from 140 to 400 in the offseason.
  • The number of teams disqualified from revenue sharing drops from 15 to 13. A person familiar with the details, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made, said Atlanta and Houston were the teams that became eligible.
  • The new All-Star bonus pool for the winning team is $640,000 US, which calculates to $20,000 per player.
  • After fan and player voting, the final roster selections in each league (seven in NL and five in AL) will be made by the commissioner's office rather than the All-Star managers.
  • Major league players may not be traded during the final week of the regular season.
  • While a team with a payroll $40 million or more above the luxury tax threshold would have its highest draft pick dropped 10 places, the top six selections are protected and those teams, if penalized, would have their second pick dropped 10 slots.
  • The commissioner may schedule regular-season games at ballparks other than the regular sites, and players would receive additional compensation.
  • Players would receive $15,000 to $100,000 each for special events such as games in Mexico, Asia, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and London.
  • Signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count against a team's international signing bonus pool.
  • Teams will increase their annual pension and medical benefits contribution to about $200 million.

Colabello off Toronto's 40-man roster

The Toronto Blue Jays outrighted first baseman Chris Colabello and infielder Andy Burns off their 40-man roster on Friday.

The team said both players had cleared waivers.

Colabello batted .069 through 10 games with Toronto last season before being suspended 80 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

When he returned from serving the suspension, the 33-year-old hit .185 with a .254 on-base percentage and five home runs through 45 games — all in the minor leagues.

Burns, 26, went hitless through 10 games for Toronto's big league team in 2016. He batted .230 in 111 games with triple-A Buffalo.


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