Major League Baseball and Union Discussing Massive Rule Changes That Will Seriously Impact Game

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But the players want it to happen.

Major League Baseball and its union have had substantive discussions in recent days over a series of proposals, among the most drastic proposed changes in years, that could bring significant rule changes to the sport in 2019 and beyond, according to two sources familiar with those talks.

Many of these rule changes, such as the universal DH and the three-batter minimum for pitchers, are to promote offense, while the single trade deadline and expansion of rosters should help to increase fairness within the game-picking up additional pieces just before the home stretch in August, like Justin Verlander, will no longer be tolerated.

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In addition to a universal designated hitter, the MLBPA's proposal addressed service-time manipulation and suggested a penalty for teams that are not competitive, according to Rosenthal. A lowering of a team's draft position for failing to reach a specified win total in a certain number of seasons is believed to be part of the union's plan.

There's no guarantee any of those changes will be implemented in 2019.

The batter minimum and the 20-second pitch clock would help to speed up the game, and commissioner Rob Manfred and implement the pitch-clock rule without the union's approval.

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The revelations come in the middle of the current collective bargaining agreement and at a time when players and Major League Baseball appear to be greatly divided.

The rules of the DL - which has gone through different incarnations since its institution in 1966 and today includes a 10-day version for short-term injuries and a 60-day version for more severe ailments - will remain the same, the source said. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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