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Baseball is back: MLB, MLBPA agree to new deal

3 months agoTony Andracki

Baseball is back.

On Thursday afternoon — the 99th day of the lockout — Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association reached an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The deal became official when it was ratified Thursday evening. 

“I am genuinely thrilled to be able to say that Major League Baseball is back and we’re gonna play 162 games,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a press conference. “I do want to start by apologizing to our fans. I know that the last few months have been difficult. There was a lot of uncertainty at a point in time when there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world. It’s sort of the way the process of Collective Bargaining works sometimes, but I do apologize for it.”

“Our union endured the second-longest work stoppage in its history to achieve significant progress in key areas that will improve not just current players’ rights and benefits, but those of generations to come,” Executive Director of the MLBPA Tony Clark said in a statement. “Players remained engaged and unified from beginning to end, and in the process reenergized our fraternity.”

[MORE: Cubs fan guide to post-lockout baseball world]

Each team has holes to fill on its roster and free agency officially began Thursday evening.

Players can report to their respective spring camp as early as Friday and Spring Training will begin Sunday, March 13.

MLB updated the Spring Training schedule Friday afternoon. The Cubs open the Cactus League slate against the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium on Friday, March 18. The first home game at Sloan Park will be Saturday, March 19 against the Padres.

The regular season will still consist of 162 games and will begin on April 7. To make up for the lost games, there will be 9-inning doubleheaders and an extra three days tacked onto the end of the schedule. 

Stay tuned to Cubs 360 every evening at 6 p.m. for the latest news and information.

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