Deal changes free-agent rules
NEW YORK - If the Phillies make it to the World Series, they will have work to do immediately after regarding negotiations with soon-to-be free agent Jayson Werth.
Under a deal announced yesterday, players such as the Phillies' rightfielder no longer have to file for free agency but are automatically set free. The exclusive period for teams to negotiate with their free-agent-eligible players was cut from the first 15 days after the World Series to 5.
The deadline for clubs to offer salary arbitration to their former players who become free agents was moved to Nov. 23 from Dec. 1, and the deadline for them to accept was moved up from Dec. 7 to Nov. 30.
The so-called "tender" deadline for teams to offer contracts for the following season to players on their 40-man rosters was moved up nine days to Dec. 2.
In addition, teams, players and agents will be restricted in their ability to conduct free-agent negotiations in the media.
A person familiar with those details said they will be prohibited from publicly disclosing the value and length of offers before an agreement, and may not publicly speculate on the terms of offers or a free agent's value. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because those details were not released.
The deal was struck as baseball players and owners settled allegations of possible collusion against free agents after the 2008 and 2009 seasons in one of the first acts for the union since Michael Weiner took over for Donald Fehr.
Baseball officials have denied that teams violated the provision in the labor contract saying they can't act in concert with free agents.