The next time the Cubs post the best record in Major League Baseball and make the World Series, they will have homefield advantage.
The MLB Players Association and MLB owners reached a new five-year tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement late Wednesday night and one of the main points of discussion is the news that the All-Star Game will no longer decide homefield advantage for the World Series.
That means 2016 was the final year under that rule, when the American League beat the National League, giving the Cleveland Indians homefield advantage over the Cubs, who led the majors with 103 wins.
But all's well that ends well as everything worked out just fine for the Cubs.
In fact, not having homefield advantage actually helped the Cubs.
After dealing with the intense pressure from the fanbase and city at Wrigley Field for Games 3-5 of the World Series, the Cubs admitted they felt some of the pressure ease off when the series flipped back to Cleveland for Games 6 and 7. Then the Indians had to endure the nervous energy from their fanbase and city itching for a championship after a 68-year drought.
It also helped to give the Cubs the designated hitter, adding Kyle Schwarber (America's large adult son) to the lineup on a regular basis. It was Schwarber who ignited the championship-clinching 10th-inning rally.
The Cubs will enter next season as the favorites to win it all and repeat, meaning if they live up to expectations a second year in a row, they could be opening the 2017 World Series at Wrigley Field.
The All-Star Game rule also helps out Joe Maddon, who will manage the NL squad in 2017 and now doesn't have to worry about trying to win the exhibition game.
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While more information will come out and the "tentative" label will need to be removed, here's how else this new CBA will impact the Cubs:
Qualifying offer compensation
The qualifying offer system will still exist, but will undergo some major changes.
Teams can still extend qualifying offers to players, but if declined, organizations will no longer receive a first-round pick as compensation and instead acquire a later pick in the draft.
That will no go into effect until after the 2017 season, however, meaning the Cubs will still receive a first-round pick if Dexter Fowler signs elsewhere after the "you go, we go" leadoff man declined the one-year qualifying offer.
The minimum time spent on the disabled list will move from 15 days to 10 on the new CBA.
That gives all teams the option of placing players on the disabled list and garnering an extra roster spot for just over a week instead of having to put a player on the shelf for more than two weeks at a time.
It will make things easier for Maddon's coaching staff and the Cubs front office when determining whether they should place a player on the disabled list or not.
Starting in 2018, the season will extend by four days to 187 overall as opposed to the 183-day regular seasons currently.
That will give each team an extra four days off during the season, reducing the grind of the schedule, giving players more time with their families during the season and a better chance to rest and remain fresh.
Maddon spent all 2016 ensuring his players got enough time off their feet and were "frisky" down the stretch, so an extra four days will only make that strategy easier for the Cubs manager.
Luxury tax threshold
The reported luxury tax figure for 2017 will be $195 million, up from $187 million this year.
From there, the luxury tax will increase each season, going to a reported $197 in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $209 million in 2020 and $210 million in 2021.
The Cubs had a payroll north of $171 million in 2016 and have more than $93 million committed to only eight players (Jason Heyward, Jon Lester, Ben Zobrist, John Lackey, Miguel Montero, Jon Jay, Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler) in 2017.