9/30 New free agent rules

Major League Baseball and the Players Association have agreed to some changes regarding the free agent market. The changes include allowing free agents to negotiate with all teams at an earlier date, earlier dates for contract tenders and free agent arbitration offers, new protocols regarding public comments regarding free agent negotiations, and a prohibition on including “most favored nations” provisions in Player contracts. Specifically, for the 2010 off-season, the new dates that have been agreed to by the parties are as follows:

* Players no longer have to file for free agency; it will be automatic.

* Free agents now will be able to negotiate with any team on midnight ET of the fifth day after the World Series instead of 15 days after, as it had been previously.

* Arbitration must be offered by midnight ET Nov. 23 if a club wants to keep its right to  Draft-pick compensation. The previous deadline was Dec. 1. And free agents must accept by Nov. 30, as opposed to Dec. 7.

* Teams must tender contracts by Dec. 2, nine days earlier than the previous deadline.

The Cubs have only one free agent on the roster, Xavier Nady.

— Carrie Muskat

1 Comment

*Jim Hendry will not be allowed to sign a free agent without the expressed, wrtten consent of the field manager, equipment manager and the winner of “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader”.

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