Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) today jointly issued details of the tentative new five-year labor agreement that will allow play to continue uninterrupted through the 2021 season. The parties agreed to the terms of the pact, which is subject to ratification by both sides, on Wednesday, November 30th, prior to the December 1st expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.
The five-year agreement will match the previous two labor contracts as the longest in baseball history. By the end of the new contract, Baseball will have gone 26 years without a strike or a lockout, which continues the sport’s longest period of labor peace since the inception of the collective bargaining relationship. Baseball’s active streak without a work stoppage also marks the longest of its kind among the major North American professional sports.
Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: "I am pleased that we completed an agreement prior to the deadline that will keep the focus on the field during this exciting time for the game. There are great opportunities ahead to continue our growth and build upon the popularity that resonated throughout the Postseason and one of the most memorable World Series ever. This agreement aims to further improve the game’s healthy foundation and to promote competitive balance for all fans."
Tony Clark, Executive Director of the MLBPA, said: "Every negotiation has its own challenges. The complexities of this agreement differ greatly from those in the past if for no other reason than how the industry has grown. With that said, a fair and equitable deal is always the result you are working toward, and, once again, I believe we achieved that goal. I would like to thank our Players for their involvement, input and leadership throughout. Their desire to protect our history and defend and advance the rights and interests of their peers is something I am truly grateful for."
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Commissioner Manfred also said: "I thank Tony Clark, his colleagues and many Major League Players for their work throughout the collective bargaining process. We appreciate their shared goals for the betterment of the sport. I am grateful for the efforts of our Labor Policy Committee, led by Ron Fowler, as well as Dan Halem and our entire Labor Relations Department."
Clark also said: "I would also like to recognize Commissioner Rob Manfred, Dan Halem, MLB and the Labor Policy Committee for their hard work over the last year plus, and for staying committed to the process. In coming to an agreement, this deal allows both sides to focus on the future growth and development of the sport. There is a lot of work to be done and we look forward to doing it."
A summary of many features of the new Basic Agreement accompanies this press release.