So it’s official baseball has returned. We will witness an entire 162 game campaign in 2022. And baseball fans all around the world are ecstatic. So let’s examine five changes coming to MLB in 2022.
If you’ve followed this website or our YouTube channel, the Baseball Banter Broadcast, then you know I love the Universal DH. Having the pitcher hit is one of the most ridiculous and antiquated rules baseball follows. Watching a pitcher take at-bats over a genuine hitter only weakened the offensive capabilities of the entire league. Having players like Nelson Cruz and Kyle Schwarber playing in the National League only helps MLB grow and expand. Baseball has been long overdue for this change. And this will help the down offense around the game get back to being exciting and action-packed.
While expanded postseason has seemingly split the baseball Twitterverse on whether or not it’s a good idea, there’s no doubt that adding more markets into the postseason hunt is a positive note. Having more teams playing important games in September engages fans. Having more fans engaged longer into the depths of the season provides more excitement and entertainment for fans. Expanded postseason creates the possibility to gain more new fans. Fans are captivated by the insane atmosphere that the postseason creates.
By adding twelve teams to the postseason, the integrity of the 162 game season isn’t compromised. The owners wanted 14 teams in the postseason. However, when nearly half of the league is in the postseason, it can water down the product. Twelve teams keep the markets engaged and doesn’t diminish the regular season or postseason.
The implementation of a draft lottery brings integrity to the game. Tanking has been a serious issue over the last several seasons. And it was a significant focus of the Player’s Association during the negotiations. A six-team lottery guarantees that teams can’t “tank” to try and secure the number one draft spot.
MINIMUM SALARIES INCREASED
One of the most significant sticking points we heard early in negotiations was taking care of the pre-arb players. MLB is getting younger and younger. And the dynamic talents in the game weren’t correctly getting compensated. However, with the minimum salaries increasing, these players will now make more. These additional starting monetary figures will directly affect the entire payment system in MLB.
COMPETITIVE BALANCE TAX LIMIT RAISED
The main point of contention that got the most conversation was the Competitive Balance Tax. The CBT, since its inception, has functioned as a de facto salary cap for teams. Constantly, we’d see teams pushing up against but not going over whatever the CBT threshold was at the trade deadline. And while that practice may still be in effect, raising the limit enhances competition. I’m 2021; the CBT was at $210 Million, not a small number one would believe. However, as we’d witness, approximately five or six teams functioned as if that was a hard salary cap and didn’t add more at the deadline.
Now, in 2022, the CBT will be at $230 Million. This increase allows more teams to actively try and add players in free agency or trade to improve their teams. When teams are in the hunt for a postseason position, fans and players alike are frustrated by their team choosing to add a key player to get them over the edge because it will cost them more in the luxury tax penalties. Increasing the limit aids teams in boosting their chance to make the postseason and World Series.
BASEBALL IS BACK
Most importantly, of all of the wonderful things and changes brought about by this new CBA, the biggest is baseball has returned. We knew that at some point, a deal would get done. At some point in 2022, we would see MLB back on the field. But by this deal being completed now, we get an entire 162 game season in 2022. Yes, it will start a little later than initially expected. But the game is back, and it’s perfectly splendid.