MLB, MLBPA discuss major rules changes, reports say

Rex Christensen
February 8, 2019

Most of the rule changes listed in Jeff Passan's tweet above were ones proposed by the league, while the Players Association countered with ideas of there own on Friday.

The union hopes that an earlier trade deadline, and only one deadline as opposed to the July 31 non-waiver deadline and the August 31 deadline in which players must first clear waivers, would motivate teams to be more aggressive in free agency and emphasize the first half of the season.

The three-batter minimum, expanded rosters and adding the DH in the National League all affect jobs, the latter two offering a counterbalance to the first, which basically would eliminate, for example, the one-batter, left-handed relief specialist.

Amid rising tensions between Major League Baseball and the MLB Player's Association, the two sides have been meeting about some major rule changes that could fundamentally alter many aspects of baseball as we know it.

A reduction in mound visits from six to five.

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Even if no deal is reached, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has the power to make rule changes. including the addition of a 20-second pitch clock and All-Star Game changes that would put a runner at second if the game is tied after the 10th inning.

Though the proposals remain in preliminary stages, and it is unclear which if any would be implemented in 2019 - the DH rule, for example, would nearly certainly have to be pushed to future seasons, because NL teams already have largely finalized their 2019 rosters - the talks represent a significant step for a sport that has seen rising acrimony between owners and players over the slow pace of the last two free agent markets. The pitch-clock would penalize pitchers or hitters who stall between pitches with a ball or a strike call.

The most impactful rule change probably is the three-batter minimum for pitchers. In one proposed scenario, teams that fail to meet a specified win threshold over a number of seasons would fall in draft position.

Give me the universal DH or give me death.

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