NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Baseball players and owners have signed an agreement for a new labor contract, a deal that starts blood testing for human growth hormone and expands the playoffs to 10 teams by 2013.
The five-year deal collective bargaining agreement, to be announced later Tuesday, makes changes owners hope will increase competitive balance by pressuring large-market teams to rein in spending on amateur draft picks and international signings.
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At a time when the NBA season is threatened by a lockout and NFL preseason was disrupted by labor strife, it ensures baseball will have 21 consecutive years of labor peace since the end of the 1994-95 strike.
The deal is the first contract since Michael Weiner replaced Donald Fehr as union leader last year.
The deal also includes a rise in the minimum salary to $480,000 and luxury taxes on both amateur draft signings and international free agents coming to the major leagues.
It modifies the luxury tax on high payrolls and changes compensation for clubs losing major league free agents.
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