The nightmare is over: Cleveland Guardians baseball is back

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 23: Oscar Mercado #35 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk-off two run home run during the seventh inning of game two of a double header against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on September 23, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the White Sox 5-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 23: Oscar Mercado #35 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk-off two run home run during the seventh inning of game two of a double header against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on September 23, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the White Sox 5-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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CLEVELAND, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 23: Oscar Mercado #35 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk-off two run home run during the seventh inning of game two of a double header against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on September 23, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the White Sox 5-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 23: Oscar Mercado #35 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk-off two run home run during the seventh inning of game two of a double header against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on September 23, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the White Sox 5-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

With a new collective bargaining agreement in tow, baseball is officially back, and the Cleveland Guardians are ready to begin a new era.

Our long national nightmare is over.

Major League Baseball and the players’ union came to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement Thursday and there will, in fact, be a 2022 baseball season. And after how the last few weeks have gone, it’s happening sooner than many of us would have thought possible.

Surprisingly, the executive subcommittee voted 8-0 against the deal, which sees increases in the CBT threshold to $230 million in 2022 and rising annually, a minimum salary of $700,000 starting this year, a $50 million pre-arbitration bonus pool (which is new money), and more.

Though don’t get it twisted – it’s not surprising that the subcommittee voted against the deal because it’s some incredible fantasy-turned-reality; there was plenty of compromise on the part of the players. But it is surprising the rank-and-file team representatives voted 26-4 in favor of the deal, with the Mets, Yankees, Astros and Cardinals dissenting.

Most Importantly, the Cleveland Guardians Are Back

Among all of this wreckage to sift through, the most important thing is that this deal means the Cleveland Guardians are officially back as well, ready to embark on their brand-new era. With the season starting in roughly a month, things are going to get wild in terms of trades and free-agent signings, so let’s just take a moment to appreciate that we made it through the long, dark winter and can once again look forward to a summer full of baseball in Cleveland.