Changes in the New CBA
Teams will receive compensation if they can't sign their first, second, or third round draft choices. Usually not a problem for the Twins, but I guess it's a nice addition.
Free Agent Compensation
As seemed logical, compensation for Type C free agents has been eliminated. Also, teams that sign Type B free agents no longer lose a pick to the team they signed the player from; instead, the team that loses the player will receive a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds. Also, Type A free agents will only be the top 20% of the free agents at any position, while Type B free agents will be the players in the 21%-40% range.
Arbitration must be offered/accepted by December 1, rather than December 7 under the old agreement. The deal also eliminates the previously important dates of December 19, January 8, and May 1 (which all tied into roster decisions and/or arbitration acceptance). What is unclear is how this will practically play out; presumably, it means that a team can choose not to offer arbitration and nonetheless sign the player as a free agent, without the May 1 penalty deadline.
Players not under contract for the next season must be offered, or "tendered" a contract by December 12. If no contract is tendered to the player (i.e. the player is "non-tendered"), then the player becomes a free agent.
Cannot happen during the term of this CBA, which runs through the 2011 season.
Rule 5 Draft
Players are now protected for 4 or 5 years, rather than for 3 or 4 years, before they are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. The break-point seems to remain 18 years of age; players 18 or younger when signed will not eligible for the R5 Draft for 5 years, starting next June, while players 19 and older will be eligible in 4 years.
So, there it is. There are other changes, notably related to salaries, revenue sharing, and debt service. Nevertheless, these are the ones that are more directly related to managing the roster. While draft pick compensation was sharply reduced, the changes in the Rule 5 Draft more than compensate for that change. It also should be easier to pay attention to what is going on in the off-season, since there are now significantly fewer deadlines to be aware of. Of course, the biggest and best part of all of this is that we don't have to worry about a work stoppage for the next 5 years.