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Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said management is focused on pace-of-game changes for 2019, and bolder ideas suggested by players such as expanding the designated hitter to the National League are too complicated to be put in place for this season. 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.

Though the proposals remain in preliminary stages, and it is unclear which if any would be implemented in 2019 - the DH rule, for example, would nearly certainly have to be pushed to future seasons, because NL teams already have largely finalized their 2019 rosters - the talks represent a significant step for a sport that has seen rising acrimony between owners and players over the slow pace of the last two free agent markets.

Manfred, who has made speeding the pace of Major League Baseball games a priority in recent seasons, first proposed the pitch clock before last season. However, the three-batter minimum and 12-pitcher maximum would make left-handed specialists in the bullpen harder to keep on the roster. Major League Baseball recently suggested the three-batter minimum rule to the players union.

"We would prefer more action and more offense, " St. Louis Cardinals chairman William DeWitt Jr. said Thursday at the owners meetings.

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All right, so the hope is that the next CBA the players get the universal DH that they want.

The union's proposals reportedly would give improved draft position to high-performing, lower-revenue teams while penalizing teams that repeatedly lose a large number of games.

This proposed rule also goes against the direction that the game is headed in, strategy-wise, which includes more relief pitchers in different situations, like what we saw from the Tampa Bay Rays this year.

Major League Baseball wants pitch clocks and further restrictions on mound visits without pitching changes.


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