Pitch Clocks and Ban on Shifts Could Affect MLB Roster Construction
A year ago, the New York Times published an article in which baseball commissioner (now MLB president) Rob Manfred revealed he was considering implementing a limit of 10 days in which a player could not be activated from the disabled list. MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner, the official who oversees player contract negotiations, then claimed the league’s plan would be “invalid,” though the commissioner has not backed down. The union appears to favor a six-week ban – MLB has the authority to waive it – while the players prefer a much longer suspension.
The plan for a six-week disabled list would have effectively cut the off-season from 162 games down to 100. MLB is now exploring a 10-day disabled list, which would mean 162 games minus any games the player has not played, or is considered not fully healthy. This plan would likely allow more players to return from the injured list earlier.
On Friday, MLB announced a new strategy with regards to roster construction. While the new plan does not include a six-week disabled list, it essentially creates one under its previous plan.
The new plan, which was shared in the player’s union contract negotiations in May, was presented to players in a meeting at the MLB offices in Minnesota. The details are not known, but a major point of emphasis was the use of a “progressive” process for filling the roster, according to the union:
“The new process calls for a player’s career to be evaluated not only at the MLB level, when one of the seven clubs is actively seeking a player, but also at the minor league level. And, in the case of the MLB club, that club will work to find players who provide a better prospect for the next level of the game.”
This would essentially mean teams are supposed to draft “prospects,” meaning they are not necessarily considered “prospects�