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MLB, union discussing pitch clock, universal DH among other rule changes

February 6, 2019

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are discussing a variety of potential major rule changes, which include adopting a universal designated hitter, a 20-second pitch clock and a three-batter minimum for pitchers.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported the two sides met Jan. 14 to discuss the proposals. Further, Passan wrote, “whether any substantive change comes of it, sources said, remains unclear.”

But these changes could significantly alter the way the game is played. As of now, the American League only features a DH, while the National League allows pitchers to bat.

The proposed three-batter minimum for pitchers was introduced in an attempt to speed up the game. Over the past few years, teams have increasingly relied on specialists like the one-out, left-handed relieverto take advantage of a matchup. But in doing so, the consistent changes extend the length of a game. This rule would apply to all pitchers except those who are injured or finish an inning.

Other rule changes floated include a single trade deadline before the All-Star break, expanding rosters to 26 men and draft advantages for winning teams and penalties for losing. Still another proposed rule would allow two-sport athletes like Kyler Murray tobe able to sign major league contracts.

If any changes are adopted, it is unclear if they would take place right away.

Passan reports the universalDH, for instance, could see a brief implementation in 2019 before fully expanding in 2020.

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