Dave Cameron at the USS Mariner, which I'm honored to note recently gave us an endorsement, had an excellent review of the nitty gritty of the new CBA, which goes into more detail, but he brought up a point that Adam Morris at Lone Star Ball went into greater detail with, that the changes to agreement in regards to draft pick compensation for unsigned picks opens the door for teams to abuse the system in weak draft years.
I can see this happening at times in rare circumstances, but I also think with the rules that are basically going to clip agents' demands for a signing bonus, such as moving the deadline to August 15 and allowing teams this very out, that more players in general will sign for slot money, which should in turn lessen the potential for abuse. I think the circumstance where it's most likely to occur is when a large market team in rebuilding mode has a down year that coincides with a weak draft, but even then I don't know if it will happen.
This past season, for instance, which by all accounts was a weak draft, had two or three deep pocketed teams make selections in the first ten picks: Seattle at five, the Tigers at six, and the Dodgers at seven. The selections were Brandon Morrow, Andrew Miller and Clayton Kershaw, who were thought by most teams to be the best pitchers thought to be available for the draft to begin with (San Fran chose Tim Lincecum). What incentive then, would any of these teams have for delaying their pick a season? The one scenario Adam does bring up, that of the 2000 Cubs is actually the one time in the last ten seasons that I think a team would have found benefit in playing this rule with the 2001 draft already being seen as exceptionally strong at the time the 2000 draft took place. I don't think any small market teams would benefit from this loophole because passing up on a draft pick one weak year will mean even more bonus money going out with two highly regarded picks the next. Will those rare cases of the 2000 Cubs be enough to bring calls to change the system? I doubt it.
Update [2006-10-26 15:46:22 by Rox Girl]:
Another interesting CBA tidbit: owners payoff players to settle collusion charges stemming out of the 2002 Free Agent period. I'm unclear if they mean the period just prior to the 2002 season or just after, but I wonder if Todd Jones is part of that, just before the 2002 season he took a pretty hefty paycut in signing with the Rockies for $1,000,000 with a $3,000,000 option year. If it's the following season, I would think Steve Reed's contract with only a $100,000 raise after performing fantastically with the Mets and Padres in 2002 would be one to call into question.