Boston Red Sox

By Matt McCarthy,

Despite adding a pitch clock for spring training games this year, Major League Baseball is apparently now prepared to delay implementing a 20-second timer in the regular season until at least 2022, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Passan reported Wednesday that the league has put forward a proposal to the MLB Players Association that would postpone the pitch clock, but would add a three-batter minimum for all pitchers while expanding the size of the rosters to 26 beginning in 2020.

The players have pushed back against a pitch clock for years. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has the authority to unilaterally implement a timer as soon as this season, but has reportedly offered not revisit the matter until after the collective bargaining agreement expires in December of 2021.

Oct 23, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning in game one of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The league proposed a number of other changes, including eliminating the August 31 waiver deadline and having one trading deadline instead, again reducing the number of mound visits allowed per game, and possibly shortening the time between half-innings by five seconds.

MLB also wants to try putting a runner on second base in extra innings during spring training and the All-Star Game and ending those games after 10 innings in a tie if necessary.

The discussions between MLB and the Players Association come amid growing labor unrest in baseball. Many players have voiced their displeasure over the lack of activity in the last two free agent markets, and some have suggested that a strike could be on the way if relations between the two sides don’t improve.

Baseball has not seen a work stoppage since the 1994-1995 strike.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.