BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - Major League Baseball's players and owners have ended their most bitter fight over finances in a quarter-century, after the players' association accepted management's offer to salvage a 162-game season starting April 7.
On the 99th day of a lockout that delayed spring training and threatened to cancel regular-season games for the first time since 1995, the players' executive board approved a five-year contract at about 3 p.m. in a 28-12 vote. Owners ratified the deal 30-0 just three hours later, and the lockout was lifted at 7 p.m., ending baseball's ninth work stoppage.
The collective bargaining agreement includes a 12 team post-season, advertisements on uniforms, a balanced schedule that reduced intradivision play starting in 2023, the raising of the minimum salary and more money for younger players. The 184 games that had been canceled are now instead postponed, and the regular season has been extended by just three days to Oct. 5. Approximately three games per team will be made up as part of doubleheaders.
Opinions are mixed outside Fenway Park on Friday morning, some fans told WBZ's James Rojas the players' already make enough money and said the drama only made them look bad. While others are simply happy to have their beloved baseball back on the calendar.
Training camps in Florida and Arizona will open Friday, with players mandated to report by Sunday. Opening day was pushed back just over a week from its March 31 date.
A frenzy of free-agency action was expected. A freeze on roster transactions was dissolved Thursday night, spurring a wave of speculation about new homes for Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and more than 100 other free agents who had been kept in lockout limbo.
Players’ pictures that had been scrubbed from the league’s website were restored. Teams tweeted videos and statements celebrating the lockout’s end and sharing info about tickets for the new opening day.
WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports