Baseball's new labor contract includes more video replay, the chance for a longer All-Star break and a small, but likely welcome perk for players: getting a private room instead of a roommate during spring training.
The Associated Press obtained the document that includes several changes, many starting next year. Among them: allowing teams from the same division to meet in the playoffs before the League Championship Series. Also, a ban on players getting tattoos with corporate logos. And the possibility of players wearing microphones during games.
Players already have ratified Major League Baseball's Memorandum of Understanding. Owners are scheduled to vote tomorrow.
MLB wants to expand replay to include fair-or-foul calls, "whether a fly ball or line drive was trapped" and fan interference all around the ballpark. Umpires still must give their approval and it's uncertain whether the extra replay will be in place by Opening Day.
The All-Star break will be expanded to four days, rather than the traditional three. The five-year deal says starting in 2013 that MLB "shall have the right to elect to switch the All-Star game from Tuesday to Wednesday and the Home Run Derby from Monday to Tuesday."
Gone, too, are the days of roommates. All players on 40-man rosters get single rooms in spring training. They've had it in the regular season since 1997.
Phillies agree with Willis
A person familiar with the deal says Philadelphia has agreed to a one-year contract with Dontrelle Willis. The lefthander, 30, was 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA for Cincinnati last season . . . The Reds agreed to a one-year contract with former Yankee prospect Andrew Brackman, a person familiar with the negotiations said . . . The Red Sox signed C Kelly Shoppach to a one-year, $1.35-million contract . . . Starting pitcher Joe Saunders of Arizona, relievers Hong-Chih Kuo of the Dodgers and Peter Moylan of Atlanta, outfielder Luke Scott of Baltimore and infielder Ryan Theriot of St. Louis became free agents after their teams declined to offer 2012 contracts by Monday's midnight EST deadline. They were among 30 players set free.-- AP