The MLB and the MLBPA have reached an agreement on a new labor deal. The resulting CBA has been officially ratified by all 30 MLB Owners.


The new CBA is packed full of notable changes, as first reported by ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Beyond the legal jargon, the new CBA includes significant stipulations that have the potential to completely reshape America's Pastime.

Below is a breakdown of the three most significant (and potentially league-altering) rule changes.

Explaining the MLB Rule Changes Post-Lockout

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1. Implementation of the Universal DH

Starting immediately, the National League will discard its commitment to having pitchers take at-bats on a regular basis.

The NL will be adopting the DH spot in all lineups starting Opening Day 2022.

The notable distinction between the AL and NL began in 1973 when the AL adopted the use of the DH. In the 97 seasons prior, the DH was not a fixture in the major leagues. This new development is a direct attempt to modernize the game, with the intent being to create more run-scoring opportunities. By avoiding pitchers taking meaningful ABs, the league aims the reduce the amount of “automatic-outs” that often stunted the excitement and slowed the pace of the average ballgame.

2. Playoff Expansion

This October you can expect to see several more teams contending for the World Series title. The new CBA includes the expansion of the playoffs to 12 total teams, six in each league.

At several points during the CBA the idea of a 14-team playoff were proposed by the MLB. The MLBPA rejected such a dramatic expansion each time, opting instead for the adopted 12-team format.

The official format of the expanded playoffs has yet to be announced, but the twelve-team format is expected to include first-round byes for the top seed(s) in each league.

3. The 45-Day Window

The new CBA includes several clauses granting the MLB special abilities to implement further rules changes for the 2023 MLB season. The MLB has the power under the new CBA to implement a pitch clock, ban the shift, and install larger bases for the 2023 season as long as they provide the MLBPA at least a 45-day notice before the start of spring training.

The MLB will research the effectiveness of the changes by experimenting with gameplay in its minor-leagues this upcoming season. Expect the aforementioned changes to be implemented if the MLB can prove these changes will have an impact on scoring and pace of play.

Additional Provisions

The  new CBA also includes provisions for sponsorships patches on jerseys, implementation of a draft-lottery, increases to minimum salaries, and regulations to deal with service time manipulation.

The most visible change will be the jersey patches, with the MLB following the success of the NBA with jersey sponsorship deals.

From the perspective of the MLBPA, the regulation of service time manipulation was seen as a major win.

Additional minor changes to the luxury-tax system were implemented that hope to further encourage competitive balance.

The next two seasons are expected to be watershed moments for the league. As the MLB attempts to cater its product towards a younger audience the game will undoubtably look different from the one we have come to known. Some changes will ultimately achieve the desired affect, a faster and more action-filled game of baseball. Beyond this however, it is unclear how these developments change the trajectory of the league moving forward. One thing is certain, both the MLB and MLBPA recognize the need to make changes. Without completely abandoning league history, the game of baseball is attempting to forge a new path into the future. Time will tell how successful these changes will be, but the past 99 days have taught us that the MLB has an vision towards restoring its past glory. With fans back in the fold, the only way is up from here.

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