Ongoing are negotiations toward the next collective bargaining agreement(CBA), which governs the working relationship between teams and players. A number of issues stand out as being critical points of interest for each side, and among those is whether changes to MLB roster rules are in the offing. As Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reports, changes are very likely headed our way:
The players and owners are discussing the expansion of rosters from 25 players to 26 in exchange for September roster limits, according to sources familiar with the collective-bargaining negotiations.
In September of each year, the size of active rosters expands from 25 to 40. While teams rarely approach 40, they do add a number of players to the fold each time Sept. 1 rolls around. Among other considerations, this roster bloat means the general quality of competition could be altered just in time for some high-stakes stretch drive games. That’s one reason to change the current rules. Of course, the players association isn’t just going to give back those spots without something coming their way from commissioner Rob Manfred and the owners, which explains the 26th active roster spot from April through August. As for the September rosters, Rosenthal presents a possible new limit, which is indeed well shy of 40.
One concern is that an extra spot will lead to even larger pitching staffs, which, in turn, will lead to even more pace-killing pitching changes. No one save managers wants that to happen, so it’s possible some new limits on reliever usage will be negotiated also, which Rosenthal notes.