How MLB’s Latest CBA Talks Could Impact the Pittsburgh Pirates


The current collective bargaining (CBA) talks have been picking up in recent weeks, and one of the big changes that both the MLBPA and owners have proposed could significantly impact the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The MLB Players Association and the owners have been going back and forth more often as of late, trying to get a CBA made and agreed upon so that the season can attempt to start on time for the Pittsburgh Pirates and all of MLB.

One of the few things that both the players and owners can agree upon is that the MLB Draft needs to change. The proposed change is implementing a draft lottery.

Two of the four major American sports, NBA and NHL, already have a draft lottery system in place and it appears that the MLB is not far behind on implementing their own lottery system. The players and owners have slightly different views on how a lottery should work, but they both agree one is needed.

The players association wants eight spots to be up for grabs, while also giving picks to small-market teams that perform well, whereas the owners do not want the extra picks and only want the top three picks to be up for grabs. Either way, these proposed changes will certainly impact the Pirates.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have the fourth overall pick in this year’s upcoming draft, which will not change regardless of the agreement that gets made, since both proposals would not start until the 2023 MLB Draft. The deal would, however, impact the Pirates draft pick next year, and possibly how they go about the 2022 season.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are projected to put up a sub-.500 record for the fourth season in a row. This would mean that they are in a position to gain yet another top pick but the new lottery system could keep them from getting a top pick even if they have one of the worst records.

That fact could change the Pirates plan for the 2022 season since tanking is going to be heavily disincentivized with the new lottery system. This would mean that the Pirates may be more willing to bring up some of the top prospects in the farm system sooner since they will be more inclined to get the best players on the field rather than just tank for another top pick.

Additionally, if the MLBPA gets their way, there will be added incentives to make a strong push since they could pick up extra picks by either being above .500 or maybe even shocking the world and making a push for the postseason.

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As talks are still ongoing for agreeing upon a new CBA, no one knows for sure what all will change, but it is apparent that both the players and owners want to disincentivize tanking, which will certainly impact teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates.