Possible MLB rule changes may have little effect on Pirates

Possible MLB rule changes may have little effect on Pirates

But the players want it to happen.

One of the most notable rule changes would be a universal DH, meaning both the American and National Leagues would use the designated hitter.

On Jan. 14, the league sent proposed rule changes to the union, the biggest of which involved requiring pitchers to face a minimum of three batters before they can be removed from a game.

The Major League Baseball Players Association responded last Friday with its own comprehensive proposal that addressed the players' concerns on competitive integrity and service-time manipulation in multifaceted fashion, sources said.

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.

Some of these changes would be significant and the fact that the two sides are seriously discussing them means they could come into play in the near future, although there's indications they are unlikely to be in place for 2019.

Even if no deal is reached, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has the power to make rule changes. including the addition of a 20-second pitch clock and All-Star Game changes that would put a runner at second if the game is tied after the 10th inning. It is questionable whether that seismic change can occur before the current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2021.

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. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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