NEW YORK - Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced on Thursday that the owners of the major league clubs have unanimously ratified the new five-year collective bargaining agreement.
The agreement was jointly announced with the Major League Baseball Players' Association on November 22.
"I am very pleased that the clubs have given their unanimous support of the new agreement," Selig said. "Our sport has taken many significant strides over the past decade, and this agreement will allow us to continue to grow the game."
The new pact will allow play to continue uninterrupted through the 2016 season, and by the end of the agreement, baseball will have gone 21 seasons without incurring a strike or lockout.
As part of the terms of the new agreement, the 2012 baseball season will be the last with an unbalanced American and National Leagues.
The Houston Astros will move from the National League Central to the American League West starting in 2013, creating two leagues of 15 teams apiece. It will necessitate the need for interleague play throughout the campaign.
Also, a second wild card team will be added to the playoff scenarios, which would take effect as early as next season. The two wild card teams from each league will take part in a one-game playoff, with the winner advancing to the Division Series.
There will also be an expansion of instant replay to include fair/foul and "trapped" ball plays. An agreement with the umpires union is still needed before becoming official.