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Delay in new CBA could postpone free-agent signings

Mike Stobe / Getty Images Sport / Getty

With the offseason underway, teams have been hesitant to open their pockets and pursue big free agents due to a delay in baseball's new collective-bargaining agreement.

The current CBA - which expires on Dec. 1 - includes a payroll threshold of $189 million for each team. Until the new agreement is announced, teams that want to splurge on free agents will have to be patient, as organizations don't know what the luxury-tax threshold will represent, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

Speculation from around the league is that the threshold will increase to anywhere from $200 million to $210 million, Cafardo notes. Until the exact figure is revealed, teams will be at risk if they want to sign a big free agent, as penalties could be handed out if the threshold ends up being lower than expected.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said recently he anticipates a deal will be reached before the deadline, which comes right in the thick of the winter meetings, where signings usually begin to take place. The Toronto Blue Jays were the first team to dive into the free-agent pool, reportedly signing Kendrys Morales to a three-year, $33-million contract and bringing in Cuban prospect Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on a seven-year contract worth $22 million.

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