Baseball is back: What's next for Orioles now that there's an agreement - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Baseball is back: What’s next for Orioles now that there’s an agreement

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Now that baseball is back, what does it mean for the Orioles? Spring training in Sarasota, Florida, which was scheduled to begin on February 15th, will start on Sunday. Players must report then except for those with visa issues.

Opening Day is April 7th. That’s an offday on the Orioles’ schedule. April 8th was set to be the Tampa Bay Rays’ home opener at Tropicana Field, but it’s possible that the Orioles-Rays opener will be moved up a day.

The Orioles’ home opener is scheduled for April 11th at 7:05 p.m. against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Grapefruit League games will begin on March 18th. The Orioles are scheduled to play the Atlanta Braves at 1:05 p.m. at Ed Smith Stadium and play a split-squad game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton at 6:05 p.m.

The original schedule ran through March 27th, and additional games will be added.

There will be 162 games in the regular season. Those that were canceled on Wednesday by commissioner Rob Manfred will be put back on the schedule. Six Oriole games — three at home against Toronto and three at Boston — were canceled last week. Three days will be added to the end of the schedule, which was supposed to end on October 2nd. The other games will be made up as part of doubleheaders.

The Rule 5 draft has been canceled. The designated hitter is universal. Two rules adopted for 2020 — seven-inning games for doubleheaders and a runner on second to start each extra inning — have been discarded.

Arbitration figures will be exchanged on March 22nd, and hearings will be held during the season.

The amateur draft will be 20 rounds, as it was last year. The players and owners will work on an international draft. If agreement on it can’t be reached by July 25th, draft-pick compensation for players receiving qualifying offers will continue.

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The new collective bargaining agreement runs through the 2026 season.

According to The Athletic, the minimum salary, which was $570,500 last season, will be $700,000 in 2022 and rise to $780,000 in 2026. The beginning point of the luxury tax in 2022 will be $230 million and rise to $244 million in 2026.

A draft lottery involving six teams will be instituted. Small-market teams can pick in the lottery two consecutive years before they fall to the 10th pick.

Players can be optioned up to five times in a season before they’re exposed to waivers.

The free-agent market will open, and the Orioles will look for additional starting pitchers. Jordan Lyles, with whom they reached agreement before the lockout began on December 2nd, will take a physical and, if he passes it, will sign a one-year, $7 million contract.

The Orioles might look to sign an additional catcher, relief pitchers, and an infielder and outfielder.

Note: There will be an intrasquad game on Friday at Ed Smith Stadium involving Orioles’ minor leaguers. Game time is 11 a.m, and it’s free. Gates will open at 10:45 a.m.

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