Baseball players settle collusion allegations

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

Under the deal announced 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 15 days to five.

The deadline was moved up for clubs to offer salary arbitration to their former players who became free agents, as was the deadline for teams to offer contracts for the following season to players on their 40-man rosters.

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