Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association are nearing a deal to expand the active 25-man roster to 26 and reduce the September expanded roster size from 40 to 28 beginning in 2020, sources told Ronald Blum of The Associated Press.
The agreement will also reportedly include a commitment to discuss larger economic issues after Opening Day, thanks in part to a second consecutive slow free-agent market that has left many unsigned players looking for jobs with spring training already underway.
Among other changes, the number of call-ups will be limited to 13 pitchers for most of the season and 14 from Sept. 1 onward, according to sources. The limit is reportedly intended to prevent games from dragging on due to pitching changes involving relievers.
MLB and the MLBPA also reportedly agreed to increase the injured list minimum for pitchers and raise the minimum option recall time from 10 to 15 days beginning in 2020. Additionally, the two parties have agreed to start a runner on second base if the All-Star Game goes to extras and to allow the league to shorten breaks between innings, according to sources.
The league and players' union also reportedly discussed other changes; the union rejected MLB's proposal for a three-batter minimum for pitchers and the league agreed to not implement a pitch clock through the 2021 campaign.
The current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire at the end of the 2021 season.