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1990 - 1993 PDF Print E-mail
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CBA Summaries
Written by Jeff Euston   
Friday, 02 February 2007 03:05

Duration - 4 years 

  • 1988-1990 – Players charge Commissioner Ueberroth and the 26 clubs violated the Basic Agreement by conspiring to limit competitive bidding for free agents after the 1985, 1986 and 1987 seasons (Collusion I, II and III).  In each of the three cases, arbitrators rule that the owners violated the CBA, putting damages at a total of more than $100 million.
  • March 18, 1990 – After a 32-day lockout (Feb. 15-March 20), owners and players agree on a labor contract expanding arbitration eligibility and increasing minimum salaries and the owners’ annual pension contribution.
  • November, 1990 – Owners settle all three collusion cases for a total of $280 million, with the union determining how to distribute the money to the players who had suffered damages.  Commissioner Fay Vincent later writes that owners approved plans for expansion to Florida and Colorado in 1993 in order to pay off debt from the collusion decisions. 


Commissioner Fay Vincent (Sept. 13, 1989 – Sept. 7, 1992), Deputy Commissioner Steve Greenberg

  • MLB: Chairman of PRC Board Bud Selig
  • PRC chief negotiator Charles O’Connor
  • AL President Bobby Brown, NL President Bill White
  • MLBPA: Executive Director Donald Fehr
  • Associate General Counsel Gene Orza
  • Special assistant to the executive director Mark Belanger
  • Player reps: David Cone (AL), Jim Deshaies


  • Term: 1990 – December 31, 1993.
  • Either side may terminate after the third year, 1992.
  • Free Agency:  Players remain eligible for free agency after six years of service.  The owners had proposed a “partnership” with the players committing 48 percent of all MLB gate and network and local broadcast revenues to players’ salaries and the players’ pension plan.  In exchange, the owners’ proposal required the players to agree to a maximum and minimum salary cap and a “play for performance” system to replace salary arbitration. The players refuse.
  • Free Agent Compensation: A club that loses a free agent is awarded draft-choice compensation only if the club offers the player salary arbitration.
  • Salary Arbitration: A player must have completed three years of service to be granted salary arbitration eligibility, but the top 17 percent of players with at least two years of experience also are eligible, beginning in 1991.
  • Minimum Salary: The minimum salary is increased to $100,000 for 1990 and 1991, and $109,000 for 1992 and 1993.
  • Scheduling: Opening Day delayed until April 9.
  • Rosters: Clubs may have 28 players (3 more than usual) on their active rosters through May 15, 1990.
  • Pension: Owners increase their contribution to the players’ pension fund to $55 million annually.


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