Remember the proposed MLB rule changes that were being discussed between the league and Players Association?
Details are being hammered out on the implementation of some of those ideas.
“A single trade deadline, an All-Star Game election day and a million-dollar bonus for the Home Run Derby winner will be implemented in 2019 — while a three-batter minimum for pitchers and roster expansion will happen in 2020 — as part of a deal between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association.”
Passan also says that nothing is “codified” on a universal Designated Hitter rule or any changes regarding the shift, which will “be on the table as talks between MLB and the union continue.”
Starting with the 2019 changes, the single trade deadline makes sense to me, because I think you’re adding excitement and raising the stakes a bit by going with one window instead of doing a waiver and non-waiver deadline. That deadline will be July 31st, and I think this helps place more emphasis on preseason free agency vs. kicking the can down the road and acquiring players mid-season. More needs to happen upfront, vs. just falling back on August moves.
The All Star Game election and Derby bonus make a ton of sense to me as a way to market stars, similar to how the NBA approaches their game.
As for the three-batter minimum in 2020, I think most fans seem to agree that this is a good idea to speed up the game and cut down on the incessant pitching changes that bog down the back-half of games. I don’t think you’re killing off nuance and strategy entirely, you’re just shifting the focus a bit and asking managers to look further down the lineup. This rule prevents another Wade Miley scenario, where he pitched to a single batter in game five of the most recent NLCS.
Roster expansion is fine, though I think most teams would just add another lefty reliever if possible.
Here’s what Passan says about that:
“…regular-season rosters will expand from 25 to 26 players while September rosters will contract to a maximum of 28 from the current 40. A committee between the sides that will study the game is expected to make recommendations on the maximum number of pitchers allowed on the rosters. In negotiations, the league proposed 13 during the first five months of the season and 14 in September.”
These are positive forward steps.