After some concern about labor strife between Major League Baseball’s owners and the MLB Players Association, the two sides have agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement.

MLB announced the news, adding the two parties are continuing to draft the entirety of the agreement, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet on Wednesday.

The MLBPA and MLB released a joint statement on Friday with words from Commissioner Rob Manfred:

“I am pleased that we completed an agreement prior to the deadline that will keep the focus on the field during this exciting time for the game. There are great opportunities ahead to continue our growth and build upon the popularity that resonated throughout the Postseason and one of the most memorable World Series ever. This agreement aims to further improve the game’s healthy foundation and to promote competitive balance for all fans.”

“I thank Tony Clark, his colleagues and many Major League Players for their work throughout the collective bargaining process. We appreciate their shared goals for the betterment of the sport. I am grateful for the efforts of our Labor Policy Committee, led by Ron Fowler, as well as Dan Halem and our entire Labor Relations Department.”

Clark also shared his thoughts on the new deal in the statement:

Every negotiation has its own challenges. The complexities of this agreement differ greatly from those in the past if for no other reason than how the industry has grown. With that said, a fair and equitable deal is always the result you are working toward, and, once again, I believe we achieved that goal. I would like to thank our Players for their involvement, input and leadership throughout. Their desire to protect our history and defend and advance the rights and interests of their peers is something I am truly grateful for.

On Friday, USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale reported that “owners are scheduled to vote on Dec 13 to ratify the new CBA, which should be a formality.”

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports first reported the two sides finalized the deal on Wednesday. 

Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted on Wednesday that under parameters of the new CBA, the luxury-tax threshold will start at $195 million next season and gradually increase to between $210 million to $215 million before the deal ends in five years.

Rosenthal reported the potential threshold increments over the course of the new CBA:

Sherman also reported there will be a greater penalty of about 60 to 70 percent for teams in excess of $250 million in payroll, compared to the previous CBA penalty of 50 percent.

MLB and the players have gone 21 years without any serious labor strife. There were eight different work stoppages from 1972 to 1995, including the 1994-95 labor dispute that led to the cancellation of the 1994 World Series and limited the 1995 season to 144 regular-season games.

Rosenthal reported on Nov. 22, nine days before the previous CBA expired, that there was growing concern about a lockout due to owners’ frustration with the “slow pace of the discussions” and two key negotiations the sides didn’t agree on:

The owners offered to resolve two of the biggest issues by offering a straight exchange, telling the players they would eliminate direct draft-pick compensation in free agency in exchange for the right to implement an international draft, sources said. The players, however, rejected the proposal, wanting no part of an international draft.

Per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, teams will no longer have to give up a first-round pick to sign free agents who receive a qualifying offer. However, draft compensation won’t completely go away, as teams over the luxury-tax threshold would lose a second- and fifth-round pick, while teams under would lose a third-round pick, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported an international draft is not part of the new CBA, and teams will be limited to between $5 million to $6 million for international signings.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports added the new CBA includes the “death penalty” for teams caught cheating internationally, allowing the league to penalize up to 50 percent of international money through 2021.

Passan noted the international signing age will be raised to 25, meaning Japanese star Shohei Otani will not be coming to MLB until 2019.

The new CBA reportedly also eliminates the All-Star Game as the deciding factor for home-field advantage in the World Series, with Ronald Blum of the Associated Press reporting the change.

Blum also reported the minimum stay on the disabled list will go from 15 days to 10 days.

Another wrinkle will be that new MLB players will be banned from using smokeless tobacco, with current players being grandfathered in, per Sherman.

Sherman also reported rosters will remain the same with 25 active players and September call-ups.

Morosi added that all of the changes in free-agent compensation structure will go into effect next season, with prior rules still applying to this year’s class.

While Rosenthal’s report did raise questions about a potential work stoppage with the winter meetings scheduled to begin Dec. 4, Mark Armour of the Society for American Baseball Research tried to ease those fears.

“Most CBAs have been signed [weeks] or months after expiration, with no intervening labor strife,” Armour wrote. “Seriously, people, the deadline means nothing.”

Up to the point Rosenthal’s report came out, there was nothing about potentially difficult or disastrous labor negotiation to suggest a stoppage was going to happen.

Maury Brown of Forbes reported MLB revenue in 2015 reached $9.5 billion, the 13th straight year the league saw a revenue increase. The league’s new television contracts with ESPN, Fox and TBS, which began in 2014, pay a total of $12.4 billion through 2021.

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