Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Core economics have been the key focus of the ongoing negotiations between MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), but the sides have also had a few meetings to discuss other issues.
Early last week, the discussions were focused on various topics such as drug policies, international play and other potential rule changes for the sport.
One of the most highly debated topics over the past few seasons has been the universal designated hitter, which MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was previously against.
Now, both MLB and the MLBPA seem to be in favor of bringing the DH to the National League, so it will likely to happen in the next CBA. However, both sides are still debating on who it benefits more, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network:
Barring something totally unexpected, it can be assumed at this point that the universal DH will be in place in 2022. Both sides are in favor (though true to these talks, they don’t seem to totally agree on who benefits most from a DH on all 30 teams)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 2, 2022
The addition of the DH would be a big benefit for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who already have a lineup constructed more like an American League club than an NL team.
They could choose to use it as a way to give players rest, which should benefit veterans Justin Turner and AJ Pollock, or they could sign a player for the role to help replace Corey Seager’s production, such as Nick Castellanos.
Perhaps the best move L.A. could make would be to sign Freddie Freeman. He would replace Seager’s production and give them a primary DH in Max Muncy while also allowing them to use the DH as a way to get players rest due to Muncy’s versatility.
MLB testing automated strike zone in Triple-A
Another rule change that could be coming to MLB soon is the Automated Ball and Strike system (ABS) — also known as robot umpires — that the league has been testing since 2019.
MLB is now going to begin testing the balls and strikes system in Triple-A, the Minor Leagues highest level, as they prepare to make the potential change in MLB in the near future.
The system will also be tested during Spring Training games in Florida, along with the continued testing at Low-A and potentially other non-MLB games, according to a job listing on MLB.com. The league is looking to hire workers to help run the system for 13 Triple-A teams, including the Los Angles Dodgers’ affiliate in Oklahoma City.
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