According to reports by Ken Rosenthal (The Athletic) and others (Jeff Passan ESPN, Joel Sherman Twitter Thread), Major League Baseball provided the MLBPA with a list of proposed rule changes on January 14th that they would like to potentially implement, perhaps as son as this upcoming season. The MLBPA has countered on Friday with proposals of their own which address some of their concerns regarding recent trends in baseball but also with the League's own proposal. Unlike many exchanges between these two sides, the discussions have apparently not been very contentious, and both seem willing to negotiate and come to an agreement. Of course, that could all change at the drop of a hat.
With that caveat in place, some of the big ticket items under consideration are:
- The adoption of the DH rule by the National League
- Expanding roster to 26, and limiting September rosters to 28 player
- A requirement that pitchers face at least three batters per inning before being removed
- A reduction to a single trade deadline rather the current waiver and non-waiver deadlines
- Clubs who lose 90+ games in consecutive seasons losing draft position and IFA money
The DH coming to the NL has long been under consideration, and appears to be gaining momentum.
Here are a list of some of other potential changes being discussed:
- 20 second pitch clock
- Reducing allowed mound visits from 6 to 3
- Changing the 10-Day DL back to 15-Day
- Moving the waiting period to recall a player from a Minor League option from 10 to 15 days
- Rookies that receive Top 3 votes in ROY, CY and MVP are credited with a full season of service time whether they reached the minimum required total of days on roster
- Revenue sharing being more closing tied to a team's record as a way to dissuade teams from tanking
- MLBPA seems open to allowing players, dugouts, etc to be mic'ed up during games
- Studies on lowering the mound
- Allowing two-sport athletes to sign MLB deals
All of these items (and more) are on the table, and it is possible some could be adopted (in modified or current form) before the 2019 season, although more drastic changes may get pushed to 2020, or not adopted at all. I find it hard to believe they would add the DH in 2019 for instance, given teams have been constructing rosters without it in mind, that is unless the League informed all clubs at the beginning of the offseason that such a rule could be implemented.
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