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Manfred: MLB Spring Training Status Hasn’t Changed, Universal DH Incoming

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred provided an update on Spring Training as well as other bits about ongoing negotiations.

Rob Manfred MLB
Photo: Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, reports surfaced indicating MLB commissioner Rob Manfred would speak to the media. On Thursday, Manfred addressed the media and says there is no change right now regarding the status for Spring Training.

Apparently, despite the reported distance between the owners and the MLBPA, Manfred is optimistic for a full season in 2022. Whether or not that’s a smokescreen is unclear, but if he truly means it then perhaps there is hope for baseball this spring.

All baseball players and fans want is a season. However, given the nature of the negotiations thus far, it appears that a full 162-game schedule is in jeopardy. Although a 140- or 130-game season could be in the cards, it’s safe to assume that both players and fans want the full 162.

Universal DH, Draft Pick Compensation

According to Manfred, there are two things that both sides have agreed on. The first is the universal designated hitter. This is an advancement that should make baseball more exciting.

Although there are some incredibly athletic pitchers who can swing the bat, far too often a pitcher takes three pitches and goes back to the dugout. Such instances are detrimental to the game overall and fans don’t want to pay to watch that. Letting true hitters take those at-bats will only benefit offenses in both leagues.

Furthermore, draft pick compensation for free agents is also a thing of the past. Although this feels like a small change, it should create massive ripples in free agency.

Historically, teams have avoided free agents when draft pick compensation is attached to a player. Now, the elimination of that rule might encourage more teams to bid on free agents, potentially speeding up the signing period and increasing the number of suitors for players. More suitors plus more money equals a better free agency process for the players and even the fans. Simply put, eliminating the draft pick compensation rule is a win-win scenario.

What’s On Tap Next?

The next step for fans is to simply wait. However, we can all sit here and hold out hope that the lockout will end sooner than later. We’re approaching the typical report date for pitchers and catchers, and there is a good chance no one will be reporting. All we can hope for is an agreement on a new CBA and for the MLB season to get started without a hitch.

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Work as an accountant by day. Huge Chicago sports fan. Played college football and only wish I could skate well enough to play hockey. Twitter: @rnldluce Instagram: @rnldluce

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