MLB, MLBPA agree to changes for free agency

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 4:45 PM ET

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have jointly announced changes to the free agency rules for the 2010 and 2011 off-seasons.

The adjustments were negotiated in collective bargaining sessions between the MLBPA and Major League Baseball and stemmed from union concerns over the "operation of the free agent market during the past two off-seasons."

According to both sides, the fifteen day period following the completion of the World Series in which teams had exclusive rights to negotiate with their own free agents will be shortened to five days.

The modifications for 2010 also include a November 23 deadline for teams to offer arbitration and November 30 for players to accept arbitration and a December 2 date for clubs to make tender and non-tender decisions.

They sides also agreed to stricter rules to guard against collusion during the free agent process, improved procedures for the transmittal of free agent players medical records and restrictions on the use of clubs, players and agents to conduct their free agent negotiations through the media.

"The agreement provides a meaningful response to the MLBPA's concerns about the operation of recent free agent markets. It is intended to facilitate negotiations between clubs and players throughout the salary structure," said MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner. "The Commissioner's Office worked productively and creatively with the Union to resolved our differences. I hope that we can build on this momentum when we begin bargaining for a new Basic Agreement later this year."


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