After long hours of going back and forth, there are new changes coming to Major League Baseball.
Baseball players and owners reached a tentative agreement on a five-year labor contract Wednesday night, a deal that will extend the sport's industrial peace to 26 years since the ruinous fights in the first two decades of free agency.
So, what does this mean for the Kansas City Royals? For starters, it means there shouldn’t be a lockout for five years.
Tobacco regulations will increase from the last agreement. Smokeless tobacco is being banned entirely for all new players. Players who currently do not have at least one day of major league service will not be able to use it or even carry it. It’s already banned in the minor leagues and at many ballparks in major cities around the country but not at Kauffman Stadium.
Something else there will be more of, drug testing. Players will not be credited with major league service time while serving suspensions, and testing for HGH will also begin next year.
The regular season will expand from 183 days to 187 starting in 2018, creating four more scheduled off days. This should give the Royals a bit of a break during the summer months of July and August.
The minimum time for a stint on the disabled list will be reduced from 15 days to 10.
Under the new rules, a player can receive a qualifying offer only once in his career and will have 10 days to consider it instead of seven. The Royals recently passed on an opportunity to extend qualifying offers to both Kendrys Morales and Edinson Volquez.
But here’s the one that a lot of Royals fans will care about. The decision for who gets home field advantage is changing. The winner of the All-Star game will no longer get it, instead, it will go to the pennant winner with the better regular-season record. The Royals benefited from the old rule as they had home field advantage in the 2014 and 2015 World Series.
After round-the-clock discussions, negotiators worked up to the very last minute. The tentative deal was reached three and a half hours before the previous agreement expired.
The new deal will span five years, which is standard.
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