MLB rumors: Major rule changes to DH, trade deadline, others being proposed

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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.

A 20-second pitch clock, a timesaving device Manfred has espoused for more than a year now.

Major League Baseball and the players' association continue to discuss possible amendments to the usage of the list itself, as a number of teams have been accused of using a shorter DL - it was changed from 15 days to 10 days in 2017 - to manipulate their rosters, sources told ESPN.

A three-batter minimum for pitchers.

A single trade deadline before the all-star break, to replace the traditional July 31 deadline and the August 31 waiver-trade deadline.

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A reduction in mound visits from six to five.

Many of MLB's proposals were designed for the goal of speeding up the game, one of Manfred's top priorities. After much talk about the pitch clock last offseason, the only major rule change to baseball in 2018 involved limiting mound visits. While the three-batter minimum could cause the loss of jobs for some traditional left-handed specialists, the roster expansion to 26 players - bringing 30 extra big league jobs - could be an enticement for union to agree.

Owners meetings are scheduled for this week and spring training begins next week. The union proposal also included lowering a team's draft position if they don't reach a certain win total over a number of seasons.

Give me the universal DH or give me death.

National League pitchers might want to hold onto their bats for a little longer. It is customary under present rules for managers to use a relief pitcher for one out, even if that at-bat requires just one pitch.

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