Fans of the Boston Red Sox celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the American League Championship Series during the 2008 MLB playoffs at Fenway Park on October 16, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox defeated the Rays 8-7 to set the series at 3-2 Rays. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

After months of tense negotiations and anxiety across the baseball world, Major League Baseball and the players union are expected to agree to a new labor deal for 2022 and beyond.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Thursday that the two sides have reached a “tentative agreement,” and it’s “expected to be a formality” that both parties will ratify the new CBA. So, while it’s technically not 100 percent totally officially official just yet, Passan was confident enough to conclude: “baseball is back.”

Jon Heyman also reported that the players voted 26-12 in favor and the deal “is agreed to” for 2022. It sure appears that nothing will stand in the way of baseball’s return.

Passan later added that players can report for spring training as soon as Friday, and that free agency and trades may resume once the deal is ratified. According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, opening day is expected to be April 7.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at

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