Written by Jeff Euston
Friday, 02 February 2007 02:55
Duration - 4 Years, with a 1-year extension add later
- May 23, 1980 – After an 8-day players’ strike at the end of spring training, owners and players reach a preliminary four-year agreement in the early-morning hours of the players’ May 23 strike date. The agreement allows the issue of free agency to be reopened the following season.
- July 7, 1980 – Players ratify new agreement.
- Feb. 21, 1981 – Players’ executive board votes to set strike date of May 29, a date later extended to June 12.
- June 12, 1981 – Players strike.
- July 31, 1981 – After a 50-day players’ strike, owners and players reach agreement July 31 settling free agent compensation issue. MLB cancels 712 games and splits the 1981 season into two halves.
- Aug. 2, 1981 – Players’ executive board unanimously approves new agreement.
- Commissioner Bowie Kuhn
- MLB: PRC Executive Director Ray Grebey, Orioles owner Edward Bennett Williams, Astros owner John McMullen
- Federal mediator: Ken Moffett
- MLBPA: Executive Director Marvin Miller, General Counsel Donald Fehr
- Term: 1980 – December 31, 1983 (extended to December 31, 1984). In exchange for receiving credit for service time while out on strike, the players agreed to extend the both the collective bargaining and pension agreements for one additional year. The pension agreement is extended from March 31, 1984, to March 31, 1985.
- Free Agency: Players qualify for free agency after six years of service.
- Free Agent Compensation
- Owners and players form a committee composed of two players (Sal Bando and Bob Boone) and two management representatives (Frank Cashen and Harry Dalton) to study free-agent compensation and prepare a report by January 1, 1981. If the changes are recommended and the players and owners agree on them, the changes become part of the Basic Agreement. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, the owners have the right to implement their compensation proposal unilaterally between February 15 and 20, 1981. If owners take that step, the players have the right to reopen the basic agreement on that issue and strike by June 1, 1981, provided they have given the owners notice of a strike date by March 1, 1981. If the players choose not to strike at that time, they forfeit their right to strike for the duration of the agreement (until after the 1983 season).
- Under the agreement settling the 1981 strike, clubs losing ranking free agents receive professional players as compensation as well as an amateur draft choice. A player pool is formed to compensate teams losing free agents. No more than five teams can claim exclusion status for a three-year period, provided they don't select or sign a Type A free agent. The other clubs are allowed to protect 24 (if they lost a Type A) or 26 players in their organizations. In addition, no team can lose more than one player from the pool each year.
- Players are ranked by statistical comparisons by position. Players ranking in the top 20 percent at his position are classified as Type A. Players ranking in the top 21-30 percent are classified as Type B. Compensation for a Type A will be a selection from the pool in addition to an amateur draft choice. Compensation for a Type B will be two amateur draft choices. Remaining compensation will be in the form of an amateur draft choice.
- Salary Arbitration: Players with two years of service remain eligible for salary arbitration.
- Minimum Salary: The minimum salary is increased to $30,000 for 1980, $32,500 for 1981, $33,500 in 1982, and $35,000 for 1983. As part of the 1981 settlement, the minimum salary for 1984 is set at $40,000. Minimum salaries also are established for exceptional cases, such as a player demoted to the minor leagues.
- Right to Demand Trade: As under the 1976-1979 agreement, a player with at least five years of service may demand that his club trade him. He must submit the request in writing during the 15-day period between October 15 or the end of the World Series, whichever is later. In addition, the player has a right to veto trades to six clubs. If his club does not arrange a trade by March 15, the player becomes a free agent.
- Pension: Owners increase their contribution to the players’ pension fund to $15.5 million annually from 1980 to 1983, which also increases life insurance coverage for active players. Under the settlement ending the 1981 strike, the pension contribution for 1984 will be determined in the next round of negotiations and applied retroactively.