There were significant signs that something like this was coming. For one thing, we haven't heard anything about a labor dispute. The parties have been negotiating all season (and before the season started) rather than not getting together until the end. And, of course, we now have some precedent, with the 2002 agreement that came just before a labor stoppage was scheduled to begin.
I'm incredibly encouraged by this news, and I anticipate that the sides are going to come to a decision very quickly and quietly. This should be the model for future negotiations, and it says a lot for Bud Selig and Don Fehr, who were so villified after 1994. Basically, it means that they can learn from their mistakes.
Look, things are good for MLB. The teams are awash in money, thanks to television and internet marketing deals. A different team has won the World Series every season this decade. The steroid debacle is a problem, but it looks like the public is putting that aside and concentrating on the positives. It would have made no sense whatsoever for another labor disagreement from kissing the good will and positive trends goodbye.
One last thing: for now, it sounds like draft pick compensation will remain in the new deal. I think that's the right move, because teams should get some kind of compensation for the loss of players. Hopefully a deal gets done this weekend and we can find out what, if anything, has been changed.