IRVING  (AP) – Major League Baseball players have ratified a five-year collective bargaining agreement that runs through the 2016 season and ensures 21 consecutive years of labor peace.

Players said Thursday they approved the deal this week during their annual executive board meeting.

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The deal, signed last week, starts blood testing for human growth hormone and institutes restraints on signing bonuses for amateur draft picks and international players coming to the big leagues.

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Owners may hold a telephone conference call to approve it rather than wait for their next meeting, in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Jan. 11-12.

Baltimore’s Jeremy Guthrie said “the changes in our labor contracts contain improvements for all classes of players.”

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