Report: MLB Proposes Rule Change Bargain With Players Association

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CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 25: A detailed view of a group of official Rawlings Spring Training baseballs prior to the Spring Training game between the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field on February 25, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. The Phillies defeated the Tigers 12-7. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Major League Baseball reportedly proposed a bargain with the MLB Players Association on Tuesday with the intent on finding common ground on the recently proposed rule changes.

One change the league is willing to pass on is the pitch clock, a topic of conversation for several years now. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the pitch clock would be put on hold until at least 2022 with more controversial rules passed in 2020.

MLB Proposes Rule Change Bargain to Players

While Commissioner Rob Manfred advocates strongly for the pitch clock, it appears he is prioritizing other rules. One such prioritization includes the three batter minimum for pitchers. If implemented, any pitcher entering a game must face at least three hitters before being removed.

Other rules MLB prioritizes include the size of rosters. They hope to expand from a 25-man roster to a 26-man roster. As a result, rosters will be limited to 13 pitchers.

Additionally, September rosters will have a 28-player and 14-pitcher limit. The Players Association takes issue to this because teams can currently carry anyone on the 40-man roster in September.

The proposal also calls for restrictions to avoid roster manipulation with injured pitchers. Finally, the minor leagues have been starting innings with a runner on second base in extra innings. The league wishes to take that a step forward, implementing it into Spring Training and the All-Star game.

Not in the bargain

Surprisingly, a universal designated hitter is not mentioned in the proposal. Despite that, position players pitching was referenced as something that needed guidelines.

In an effort to work on the length of games, shortening the time between innings was also requested. Studying the strike zone and mound height and distance are desired as well with more possible changes to come.

Outlook

The Collective Bargaining Agreement does not expire until 2021, but both sides are already negotiating. This proposal shows the league is willing to work with the players on certain issues. The Players Association will object to parts of the proposal, but both sides are heading in the right direction for the time being.

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