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MLB Players & Owners Sign Labor Agreement

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NEW YORK (AP)  Baseball players and owners have signed an agreement for a new labor contract, a deal that starts blood testing on human growth hormone and expands the playoffs to 10 teams by 2013.

The five-year deal collective bargaining agreement, to be announced later Tuesday, makes changes owners hope will increase competitive balance by pressuring large-market teams to rein in spending on amateur draft picks and international signings.

At a time when the NBA season is threatened by a lockout and NFL preseason was disrupted by labor strife, it ensures baseball will have 21 consecutive years of labor peace since the end of the 1994-95 strike.

The deal is the first contract since Michael Weiner replaced Donald Fehr as union leader last year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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