Significant changes could be coming to Major League Baseball.
The league and the players' union have exchanged proposals which address pace of play, competitive integrity and service-time manipulation.
Below are some of the details of each proposal, which was reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic on Tuesday.
-On Jan. 14, the league proposed to the players' union a rule that would require pitchers to face a minimum of three batters in an effort to increase pace of play.
-Mound visits would be reduced from six to four in 2019 and four to three in 2020. Rosters would also expand from 25 to 26 in 2020 and in September will be reduced from 40 to 28.
-MLB also proposed to move the minimum time a player spends on the disabled list back to 15 games from 10 and to change the amount of time an optioned player spends in the minor leagues also from 10 to 15, according to a previous report by The Associated Press.
-The players' union responded last Friday with its own concerns and are believed to have proposed a rule to lower a team's draft position if they fail to reach a specific win total in a certain number of seasons.
-The union also proposed a universal designated hitter, which the National League would adopt for the 2019 season.
If no agreement is reached:
-MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred can unilaterally implement three elements he formally proposed last year: a 20-second pitch clock, reduction of mound visits from six to five and a rule that would place a baserunner on second base in Spring Training games and All-Star Game if the score is tied after the 10th inning.
What it means:
A three batter minimum would theoretically eliminate the left-handed relief specialist and create fewer platoon scenarios. Some in MLB, per Rosenthal, also believe the minimum could help restore the value of starting pitchers whiles others say the need for more versatile relievers would create more options for a manager, potentially resulting in more innings out of the bullpen.
A universal DH, according to Manfred, has been discussed by the players for three decades and would ideally increase offensive production. The commissioner indicated at the owners' meeting last June that momentum was building in that direction but was later wary of the NL adopting the rule when speaking to reporters at the All-Star Game a month later.
"I think the most likely outcome at this point remains status quo," he said last July, per Rosenthal. "I think one of the things we need to think about, extinction is a bad word, right? It's a harsh word. It's a very final word. If you get rid of the DH in the National League, there is a brand of baseball - the non-DH brand - is done. Not played anywhere that's meaningful any longer. I think there's going to be hesitation with respect to that."