Finding a replacement for commissioner Bud Selig wasn’t the only order of business Major League Baseball needed to address. Set to expire on Dec. 31 is the current labor agreement with umpires, which has been in effect for five years.
As the deadline loomed and being at risk of a potential labor strike, MLB and the umpires reportedly agreed on a new five-year deal, according to ESPN:
Several people familiar with the deal say Major League Baseball and its umpires have reached agreement on a five-year labor contract. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because both sides still need to ratify the deal next month.
The last work stoppage MLB experienced was in 1994 when they were at odds with the players’ union over salary cap and arbitration issues. It began Aug. 12 and lasted 232 days, which meant the cancellation of the remainder of the season and World Series.
Last season, umpires worked with a revamped replay system that among other expansions, allowed managers to challenge calls and umpires to initiate a review for plays at the plate in which a catcher may have prematurely blocked a baserunner’s path.
Once the deal is formally in place, umpires will report to a new commissioner — Rob Manfred — who officially begins the first of his five-year contract on Jan. 25.