In difference to the other three big professional sports leagues in North America, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association reached a new five-year labor agreement without any difficulties during the negotiations. See below for the official press release. The new agreement (which you can download here) could have some influence on signings of European players, as both sides agreed on so-called signing bonus pools, including penalties for teams, which exceed theirs.
Press Release by Major League Baseball:
Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner announced today that MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to a five-year collective bargaining agreement that will allow play to continue uninterrupted through the 2016 season.
The announcement was made today at a joint press conference at Major League Baseball’s offices in New York City. Commissioner Selig and Weiner were joined at the press conference by Rob Manfred, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Labor Relations and Human Resource; Tony Clark, Director of Player Relations for the MLBPA; and Major League players Andrew Bailey of the Oakland Athletics, free agent David Bush, Andrew Miller of the Boston Red Sox, and Carlos Villanueva of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The five-year agreement matches the previous labor contract, which is to expire on December 11, 2011, as the longest in baseball history. By the end of the new contract, baseball will have gone 21 years without a strike or a lockout, which continues the longest period of labor peace the sport has had since the inception of the collective bargaining relationship.
”I am thrilled for the fans that the Clubs and the Players of Major League Baseball, together, have the opportunity to further build on our game’s unprecedented popularity,” Commissioner Selig said. “Labor peace has proven essential to the best interests of baseball and its millions of fans, who have attended our ballparks in historic numbers over the last eight years. During this remarkable era, we have seen outstanding competitive balance, record business performance and a seamless transition to the new modes in which fans want to embrace our sport. I truly believe the best is yet to come for the game we love.”
Weiner said: “I am proud to announce, on behalf of the MLBPA and its members, our new collective bargaining agreements with the Clubs – the Basic Agreement, Benefit Plan Agreement and Joint Drug Agreement. These agreements address nearly every facet of our collective bargaining relationship and will benefit all involved with our great game – players past, present and future; each of the 30 Clubs; and our legions of loyal and enthusiastic fans. These agreements would not have been reached without the broad and personal involvement of our membership – roughly 250 different players attended at least one bargaining session – and without the dedication, leadership, determination and patience of the players on our negotiating committee. Player engagement has long been the key to the MLBPA’s efforts; this generation of players was as engaged in the bargaining as much as any that I’ve been privileged to represent.”
Commissioner Selig said: “On behalf of Major League Baseball, we thank Michael Weiner, his colleagues, and all the players for their shared commitment. I appreciate all of the hard work of Rob Manfred, Dan Halem and the Labor Relations staff, and I am especially grateful for the guidance of Arte Moreno and Jerry Reinsdorf, who devoted their time and expertise to representing the Clubs. I believe that the diligence and creativity of all those who participated in this agreement will take our sport to new heights in the years ahead.”
Weiner added: “I thank Commissioner Bud Selig and his committee for their contributions to these successful negotiations. I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank and commend Rob Manfred, Dan Halem and the LRD staff for their professionalism and their commitment to the collective bargaining process. “