A five-year labor agreement was ratified by baseball owners and umpires that will last through the 2019 Major League Baseball season reported ESPN just after the announcement was made public.
The announcement on Wednesday began with a deal made about a month ago in late December; it took until the middle of this week for the announcement to be made public as the deal was subject to MLB and the World Umpire Association's approval. The previous agreement between MLB and those who make the calls on the field all season long came to an end on the final day of 2014.
It was a timely announcement, and it now appears that the upcoming season of baseball will begin uninterrupted. It has been over a decade and a half since the 1999 issues between baseball and its umpires saw the umpires union have the idea of mass resignation as a means of forcing MLB to bargain further with them. It did not exactly work out in their favor then as MLB kindly accepted their resignations and re-hired only the umpires they wanted to keep around. It has been nothing but peace between umps and the league since then, though - and with Wednesday’s news, five more years of peace is to come.
This agreement negotiated with the World Umpires Association will be the last by Bud Selig, as he steps down on Saturday, January 24, after 23 years as baseball’s commissioner.