Baseball announces labor deal

Nov. 22, 2011 at 3:01 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Major League Baseball and its players announced a new labor deal Tuesday that will run through 2016 and expand the playoff system.

Coming on the heels of the NFL lockout earlier this year and the ongoing NBA labor issues that may cost the league its entire 2011-12 season, baseball was able to pull together a collective bargaining agreement without much attention.

The agreement will give MLB 20 consecutive years without labor action affecting play. A strike from August 1994 until April 1995, which was the fourth in-season work stoppage in 22 years, cost baseball its 1994 post-season.

Aspects of the new deal include an additional wild-card playoff team for each league, a change to take affect no later than 2013; an increase in the minimum salary; and testing for human growth hormone.

The minimum annual salary in major league baseball was $414,000 in 2011 and will go to $480,000 next season and eventually to more than $500,000.

"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 Bud Selig said in a statement Tuesday.

"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."

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