Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
While the Players' Association has proposed a universal designated hitter for the coming season, multiple high-ranking major league sources do not believe that it has a chance to be implemented that quickly.
"It's hard to tell teams in two weeks they have to construct their team with a DH," said one source.
The union has advocated for a universal DH for decades. According to sources, several N.L. owners remain strongly opposed, and the group is not close to consensus on the issue. In order for the players to get their way on this, they would have to offer a significant concession.
"The timing is too tight," said another person involved in the process. "There is support for the change, but MLB will want something big in return."
We reported in December on the possibility that the Mets acquired Robinson Cano believing that he could serve as DH by the end of his contract, which runs for another five years. But that remains an educated guess on the team's part.
More viable in the short term in the banning or limiting of defensive shifts. According to sources, MLB's competition committee has voted to approve this, but the owners are not yet on board. As we reported in June, there is significant momentum on the league side to making this change. According to sources, new rules on shifts remain possible for this year.
As Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic first reported, the league and union are currently discussing many other proposals for changes to the game. This alone is significant, because of the deep tensions between the sides in recent years.