Universal DH, 3-batter minimum for pitchers among proposed rule changes

Will 15 teams be looking for an extra bat before opening day? More

Will 15 teams be looking for an extra bat before opening day? More

With tensions between owners and players on the rise, the union responded to a proposal on those alterations by going well beyond the scope of minor pace-of-play issues, including not only the universal DH but also draft and worldwide pool penalties for teams that repeatedly post poor records, and significant adjustments to the compilation of major league service time.

Amid rising tensions between Major League Baseball and the MLB Player's Association, the two sides have been meeting about some major rule changes that could fundamentally alter many aspects of baseball as we know it.

A 20-second pitch clock.

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Multiple outlets are reporting that MLB and the MLB Players Association are discussing multiple changes that would be created to improve pace of play.

A three-batter minimum for pitchers. Also on the list of rules under consideration is moving away from multiple trade deadlines - now there is a non-waiver deadline in July, plus the waivers-required date a month later.

A study to lower the mound and a rule that would allow two-sport amateurs to sign major league contracts.

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Top baseball officials have criticized the union publicly in the past for not showing a willingness to come to the bargaining table, even as top union officials have criticized some owners over a perceived lack of competitiveness. However, the three-batter minimum and 12-pitcher maximum would make left-handed specialists in the bullpen harder to keep on the roster.

The union, meantime, has made it a priority to entice teams to spend money in an effort to compete, after watching many teams largely sit out this winter' free agent market, which has caused a logjam of roughly 100 free agents still unsigned with spring training camps set to open next week. If approved, pitchers would no longer take at-bats in National League or Interleague games. In one proposed scenario, teams that fail to meet a specified win threshold over a number of seasons would fall in draft position.

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