MLB Makes Changes to Free-Agency Process, Shortens Exclusive Negotiating Window

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Major League Baseball’s hot stove is getting some much-needed repairs this offseason.

According the New York Post, the league is tweaking its free-agency process. Changes include:

• Shortening the window free agents have to sign with their original team from 15 days to five days after the World Series ends
• Setting an earlier deadline for teams to offer salary arbitration and for players to accept it
• Having stricter collusion rules for MLB Players’ Association, MLB, clubs, players and agents
• Restricting negotiations through use of the media

The changes were prompted by the players association’s unhappiness over the way teams have handled the past two offseasons. 

“The agreement provides a meaningful response to the MLBPA’s concerns about the operation of recent free-agent markets,” MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner said in a statement. “It is intended to facilitate negotiations between clubs and players throughout the salary structure.”

The offseason already has begun for 22 clubs in MLB. The rest of the league will officially join in the fun after the World Series.

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