MLB's thinking that contraction isn't an impossibility
by Bob Timmermann
The Marlins are looking for a stadium. The Twins lease is up at the end of the season. And Patrick Reusse of the Star-Tribune is worried that contraction may be back.
Under the terms of the Basic Agreement, MLB has the right to contract two teams before the 2007 season if it so chooses.
Don't worry folks, the Devil Rays are safe.
The relevant portion of the CBA is after the break.
H. Future Contraction
The Office of the Commissioner and/or the Clubs shall not undertake
any centralized effort to reduce the number of Major League Clubs
effective for a season covered by this Agreement. The Clubs shall,
however, have the right, subject to the terms and conditions set forth in
this Article XV(H), to reduce by as many as two (2) the number of
Major League Clubs effective for the 2007 championship season.
(a) The Clubs may not take a vote relating to contraction effective
for the 2007 season prior to April 1, 2006. The Clubs shall notify
the Association of any decision to contract effective for the 2007
championship season no later than July 1, 2006 and, on or before
that date, shall supply to the Association a tentative championship
schedule for the 2007 championship season reflecting such decision.
(b) Any decision to contract effective for the 2007 championship
season shall be subject to effects bargaining and such bargaining
shall commence no later than July 15, 2006.
(2) Covenants of the Clubs and the Association
In the event the Clubs vote to contract effective for the 2007
(a) The Association, on behalf of itself and the Major League
Players, shall not bring in any forum any contractual or NLRA
challenge to the decision to contract (but not the effects thereof).
Moreover, the Association shall not pursue, encourage, finance or
assist any antitrust challenge to such decision to contract; and
(b) The Clubs shall not contend, in any litigation related to a
decision to contract effective for the 2007 championship season,
that the decision to contract is a mandatory subject of bargaining
under the NLRA. Notwithstanding subparagraph (a) above, the
Association may intervene in any such litigation to enforce the
covenant set out in this subparagraph (b).
This Article XV(H) shall not preclude the owner or owners of an
individual Club from taking action (e.g., bankruptcy) that would
result in the elimination of such Club.