As is the case every offseason in recent years, Major League Baseball and its Players Association have discussed some rule changes for the upcoming season.
Included in those discussions are potentially going back to a 15-day disabled list, and players who are optioned to the Minor Leagues needing to remain there for 15 days as opposed to 10.
It appears that the discussions are not limited to those two changes though, as according to Jeff Passan of ESPN, there is also talk about adding the designated hitter to the National League, making all pitchers face a minimum of three batters per outing, roster expansion and much more:
Dueling proposals from MLB on Jan. 14 and the union Friday covered a wide range of topics, according to sources, including:
A three-batter minimum for pitchers.
A universal designated hitter.
A single trade deadline before the All-Star break.
A 20-second pitch clock.
The expansion of rosters to 26 men with a 12-pitcher maximum.
Draft advantages for winning teams and penalties for losing teams.
A study to lower the mound and a rule that would allow two-sport amateurs to sign major league contracts.
Making pitchers face a minimum of three batters would cut down on the number of pitching changes teams use per game, particularly in the month of September when rosters are expanded to 40 men.
A universal designated hitter is something that has been talked about for a number of years and would drastically change how baseball is played in the NL.
Considering the depth that the Los Angeles Dodgers have, the rule that would expand rosters to 26 players is one that would benefit them greatly if it is adopted.
Some of these changes would be significant and the fact that the two sides are seriously discussing them means they could come into play in the near future, although there’s indications they are unlikely to be in place for 2019.
Regardless of what happens this winter, this will definitely be something to keep an eye on moving forward as big changes could be coming to MLB in the near future.