Texas Rangers: Effects of the new MLB, MLBPA agreement
By Kenneth Nash
Service Time Plans Amid Season Delay
One of the biggest issues under discussion was how to handle service time in the wake of a delayed season. The MLB has yet to announce their plan for how they plan to move forward with the season but with the possibility of a shortened season at least on the table, the standard for a year’s service time would be impacted. In the agreement, all players who are on the active roster or on the injured list for all of a shortened season will receive a full season’s credit of service time. If the season is shortened, players who are on the active roster for part of the season will receive service time comparable to that of a full season. Ken Rosenthal addresses the possibility of a season cancellation with the plan for players to receive service time credit based on the time accrued during the 2019 season.
With the proposed changes to service time this season, players set to be free agents would still hit free agents in the event of a cancelled season and players not yet able to become free agents would see their arbitration processes proceed as normal. The biggest impact will be seen in roster planning with many teams having scoped out the construction of their organization for a few years down the road. How teams choose to weigh the service time changes when the season starts is yet to be seen though.
In addition to the changes above, the MLB and MLBPA also agreed to an advance of $170 million on player salaries to be paid of the next two months. Reported by Ken Rosenthal, this represents roughly 3-4% of player salaries and will be distributed by the union to four tiers of players. The rest of player salaries will be paid at a pro-rated level if and when the season does start.