Baseball is back.
Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, the players’ union, reached an agreement on a new labor deal on the 99th day of a lockout, clearing the way for a full 162-game season to begin.
The final vote was 26 to 12 in favor of approving the new deal, which also requires the support of all of the league's players. Owners approved the five-year labor contract with a 30-0 vote. MLB was expected to lift the lockout around 7 p.m. on its 99th day.
Opening Day is set to begin on April 7, rather than the originally scheduled date of March 31.
The agreement will allow training camps to open this week in Florida and Arizona, more than three weeks after they were scheduled to on Feb. 16. Fans can start making plans to be at Fenway Park, Dodger Stadium and Camden Yards next month.
The deal will also set off a rapid-fire round of free agency: Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and Kris Bryant are among over 100 major leaguers still without a team, including some who might benefit from the adoption of a universal designated hitter.
The sport's new collective bargaining agreement expands the playoffs to 12 teams and introduces incentives to limit so-called “tanking.” The minimum salary will rise from $570,500 to about $700,000, and the luxury tax threshold will increase from $210 million to $230 million this year, a slight loosening for the biggest spenders such as the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers and Red Sox. A new bonus pool was established for players not yet eligible for arbitration, a way to boost salaries for young stars.
The lockout was the second-longest work stoppage in the league's history.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.