MLB Rumors: General Belief Universal DH Will Return For 2021 Season

Major League Baseball used the abbreviated 2020 season to test multiple rule changes, with perhaps the most notable being a universal designated hitter that eliminated the need for pitchers to bat in National League games.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were among the teams to benefit from a universal DH, as it allowed them to give more opportunities to players who otherwise would have been limited to spot starts and pinch-hit appearances.

While the universal DH proved to be a useful addition this past season, teams have been operating as if it won’t return next year.

However, after the latest round of talks between MLB and the players’ association, clubs now are expecting the universal DH to stick around going forward, via ESPN’s Buster Olney:

Though it appears likely there will be a universal DH next season, MLB should make an official announcement as soon as possible so NL teams can properly construct their rosters.

The lack of an official announcement is one of the biggest reasons why free agency has gotten off to a slow start. If NL teams get word there will in fact be a universal DH next year, it would help jumpstart the market for the glut of bats available.

Teams seeking trade-off for universal DH in 2021

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred hopes that both the universal DH and expanded postseason return for the 2021 season. However, the MLBPA reportedly is not particularly fond of the latter.

An easy solution would be to tweak the expanded postseason format so that fewer teams qualify for October baseball. This was the biggest gripe from players last season, as they felt 16 teams participating in the playoffs was excessive.

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