10 things you need to know about MLB's new labor deal

There are several thorough and full summaries of baseball’s new labor deal, also known as MLB’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). I’ve read through them and found some interesting pieces:

1. Houston Astros will move to the AL West – starting in the 2013 season and new owner Jim Crane is receiving $70 million off his purchase price for allowing it to happen.

2. Hide the tobacco – players, managers, and coaches will be prohibited from using smokeless tobacco during televised interviews and team appearances. Once stadium gates open, players, managers and coaches must conceal tobacco products and may not carry tobacco products in their uniforms or on their bodies, but they can still use it.

3. Instant replay – in addition to home run balls will be used on fair/foul and “trapped” ball plays (close catches).

4. All-Star Game mandatory participation – players chosen must participate unless injured or given a note from the Commissioner.

5. Two Wild Cards – a second wild card will be instituted in each league. In this system, the two wild cards in each league will play a one-game playoff, the winner will play the team with the best record in the league, even if that team is in the same division.

6. New 100 mph helmet – a new Rawlings helmet designed to protect against 100 mph pitches will be required for the 2013 season.

7. No more low-density maple bats – no new player entering the major leagues can use a low density maple bat.

8. Signing bonus – are being reined in, subject to limitations, taxes, and all that.

9. Minimum salary – in majors $480,000 and in the minors $78,250.

10. Steroids – all players will be test for steroids in spring training, can be tested anytime during the season, and there will be 200+ random tests during the off-season.

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