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MLB notes: Free-agent rules updated

Injured Twins 1B Justin Morneau hasn’t played since July 7. (Associated Press)
Injured Twins 1B Justin Morneau hasn’t played since July 7. (Associated Press)

Baseball players and owners settled allegations of possible collusion against free agents after the 2008 and 2009 seasons in one of the first acts for the union since Michael Weiner took over from Donald Fehr.

Under the deal announced in New York on Thursday, players no longer have to file for free agency but automatically are set free. The exclusive period for teams to negotiate with their free agent-eligible players was cut from the first 15 days after the World Series to five.

The deadline for clubs to offer salary arbitration to their former players who become free agents was moved to Nov. 23 from Dec. 1, and the deadline for them to accept was moved up from Dec. 7 to Nov. 30.

The so-called “tender” deadline for teams to offer contracts for the following season to players on their 40-man rosters was moved up nine days to Dec. 2.

In addition, teams, players and agents will be restricted in their ability to conduct free-agent negotiations in the media.

A person familiar with those details said they will be prohibited from publicly disclosing the value and length of offers prior to an agreement, and may not publicly speculate on the terms of offers or a free agent’s value.

Twins’ 1B Morneau not ready for ALDS

Minnesota slugger Justin Morneau has ruled himself out of the first round of the playoffs, though he is aiming to be available later in October if the Twins advance.

Morneau has been out since he suffered a concussion in Toronto on July 7, kneed in the head inadvertently by Blue Jays second baseman John McDonald.

Rodriguez’s grievance to begin on Oct. 18

Two people familiar with the talks say the grievance by the players’ association to recover more than $3 million withheld by the New York Mets from injured reliever Francisco Rodriguez will start Oct. 18.

Lawyers from Major League Baseball and the players’ association scheduled Oct. 18-19 in New York for the start of the hearing before arbitrator Shyam Das.

New York’s decision cost him $3,142,076 of his $11.5 million salary this year.