The New CBA: How It Affects the Angels

Updated: December 1, 2016

It went right down to the deadline, but the players, owners, and Rob Manfred worked out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and managed to avoid a work stoppage before the always exciting Winter Meetings. Some details about the new CBA are still in the dark, but most of what has been revealed looks to be what was expected. Here’s a look at all that has been reported and how it affects the Angels.

Luxury tax increases to $195M in 2018, gradually increased to $210-215 over five years

This was one of the expected changes in the new CBA, but it is no doubt a good one for the Angels. Since Arte Moreno likes staying under the luxury tax, it allows to Angels to sign more and more players over the life of the deal, which runs pretty much parallel with Mike Trout’s time with the Halos. The penalties for going over the limit also get harsher for teams that are well over the threshold, as teams in the $250M range will now have to pay a tax of 60-70% as compared to the current 50% tax. Good luck with that Boys in Blue.

Qualifying Offers no longer require the forfeiting of a first-round pick

The QO system has been restructured. Instead of all teams giving up a first-round draft pick, teams will now give up a second-rounder, a fifth-rounder, and all international signing money (which will be discussed later in the article) if the team exceeds the luxury tax that offseason and only a third-round pick if the team is below the threshold. The new QO system won’t kick in until the 2017 offseason, but it definitely favors small-market teams.

It is good news for the Angels, as they will most likely stay under the luxury tax threshold for the next offseason with so much coming off the books in Josh Hamilton’s salary and puts them in line for a big 2017 offseason without spending too much. Also, players can only receive one QO over their career. This may incline players to accept the offer or sign one-year deals in order to create a better opportunity for more money in their second free agency go-around.

If the Angels want to forfeit their second-round and maybe third-round picks in the 2017 Draft, they could sign guys like Ian Desmond or Justin Turner to short-term deals this offseason. Teams also receive a compensation pick if their player signs a contract over $50M. It is uncertain on how many years that deal would have to span in order to get the pick.

All Star Game does not determine home field advantage

This change is no doubt one for the better. In the past two years, All Star Game voting was really turned into a joke. Last year, we almost saw the Chicago Cubs v. the American League in San Diego and the Kansas City Royals v. the National League the year before. Home field advantage will now be determined by which team has the best record going into the playoffs.

This is huge, as Wild Card teams will now have no shot at home field advantage. If the Angels want home field advantage, they now have to be the best team in baseball, which might not happen in 2017. This also opens up the ASG for a change in format. It would be interesting to see the MLB implement a system similar to the ones in the NHL or NFL.

International Signings are now capped at $5M for top 15 team in revenue, $6M for bottom 15

This is bad news for the Angels, as the team has been in the top ten in revenue for several years now. The Halos have never really been active in the International front, but they now will be at a disadvantage as compared to similar teams, like the Marlins and Diamondbacks.

The only good news is that the cap is not applied to players coming from Korea or Japan, as they are interleague transfers. This gives the Angels a little more incentive to spend big on the Asian market rather than the Latin market. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking for Shohei Otani, but it is a possibility for the Angels.

Season lengthened from 183 total days to 187

This is also a change that was predicted far before the deal was reached and again, it is for the better. This gives players extra days of rest and opens up possibilities for more international games. A regular season series in London or Mexico may be in place for 2018 and beyond. This affects the Angels as they are one of the closest teams to Mexico. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a Freeway Series take place in Mexico in the near future.

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