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New CBA Looks Like A Disaster For Pirates

It's done, and MLB will be talking about it live on mlb.com. This article there tells us little that we don't already know. Basically, there will be a luxury tax on the draft, and there will be tweaks to rules regarding Type A free agents. Also, MLB minimum salaries will increase to $480,000. The changes to the draft are obviously extremely obnoxious, for reasons that have been discussed in detail here. I don't know much about the negotiations, but when we discussed this issue with Frank Coonelly (edit: not Neal Huntington), he said that one advantage of changing the current system is that it would allow teams to spend less money on players who never make the majors. Given the Pirates' position, that was a pretty perplexing thing for him to have said, but I'm sure that was part of the negotiations. The owners want to spend less, and the players want owners to spend on them. UPDATE by Charlie: Wow. This sounds like a disaster. The draft tax is incredibly draconian, with an enormous penalty (the loss of a first-round pick) for going more than five percent over your team's allotment. If a team goes more than 15 percent over, it can lose two first-round draft picks. So essentially, don't bust the allotment, or you're screwed. I wrote after last year's draft that the whole thing had a pre-apocalyptic air to it, with the Pirates and other teams blowing huge amounts of cash, as if they knew they wouldn't ever be able to do it again. Well, it looks like the apocalypse has happened. Spending in the draft was one of the few advantages the Pirates had, and it looks like it's gone. There will evidently be six draft picks after the first round given out to low-revenue teams, but obviously, that doesn't make up for what the Pirates were able to do before. In fact, it's pretty much a joke. Even an objective source like Jim Callis says he doesn't know how the Pirates are supposed to compete. Five seconds of thinking about this would have led parties involved in the negotiations to the same conclusion, so it's pretty obvious that they don't, in fact, want the Pirates to have much of a shot of doing well. Do with that information what you will. The new CBA will also curb the amount teams can spend in the international market. Those amounts will be trade-able, so if a team doesn't spend its entire budget, it can trade the right to spend the remaining amount to another team. Baseball's worst teams will be allowed more money to spend internationally, probably about $5 million. The draft signing deadline will be moved up to July, which is a good move. UPDATE: Bolton points out in the comments that although the Pirates were among the teams taking the greatest advantage of the system in the past few years, it might not have stayed that way forever, particularly if a team like the Yankees really started to throw its weight around in the draft by taking players like Bell and signing them. It's possible that, in the long term, this could be something other than a disaster for the Pirates. For now, though, it's awful. UPDATE: Here's the document.

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