NEW YORK, DEC. 7 -- Negotiators for the major and minor leagues reached agreement today on a seven-year contract that will preserve organized baseball's 87-year-old structure.
The sides had said earlier in the week that they were near agreement and they wrapped up the final two issues today during daylong negotiations.
"We've been on a conference call all day," said Sal Artiaga, the president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor leagues. "We reached an agreement that will have the unanimous recommendation of the executive committee."
The deal, which has a reopener after the 1994 season, will be sent to the minor leagues on Saturday and Artiaga said the leagues will vote Thursday.
Spokesman Rich Levin said he was not sure when major league owners would vote.
"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the National Association and look forward to a continuation of our long and productive relationship," said Pittsburgh Pirates President Carl Barger, a key negotiator.
Each side had threatened to go off on its own and Artiaga said the main work ahead was erasing the bitterness of the dispute. "We have to start repairing the relationship," he said from Los Angeles. "This is a people business. I'm confident we will all rise above the differences we have had."
The sides agreed today to the method under which major league expansion teams will compensate the minor league teams whose territory they are taking over.