Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are discussing major rule changes that would impact the league on and off the field, an official with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing. The proposals were first reported by The Athletic.
Some of the more dramatic changes include a universal designated hitter, a three-batter minimum for pitchers and a 20-second pitch clock.
Other proposals include a trade deadline before the All-Star break, the expansion of rosters to 26 players – with a 12-pitcher minimum, draft benefits for winning teams and penalties for losing teams, regulations that would allow two-sport amateurs (like Kyler Murray) to sign major-league deals and a study to lower the mound in the majors.
One of commissioner Rob Manfred’s major initiatives during his tenure has been to improve the game’s pace of play, something the pitch clock and three-batter minimum for pitchers would theoretically address.
While baseball’s collective bargaining agreement doesn’t expire until 2021, both MLB and the players’ association have agreed to revisions in recent years, including a 2018 amendment that limited the number of mound visits to six per game.
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