When MLB resumes the designated hitter will be used by all 30 teams this season and in 2021, per reports.
It looks as though 2019 was the final year the National League and the Miami Marlins will play without a designated hitter. According to multiple stories out on the Internet, starting with CBS Sports, part of the agreement between MLB and the MLBPA calls for a universal designated hitter for American and National League teams in 2020 and 2021.
While no other concessions have been made regarding the use of an extra bat for National League teams after that, it would appear one of the sacred things that make teams like the Miami Marlins unique is being done away with.
It’s the end of the world as we know, and I don’t feel fine about it at all.
"“It appears likely that we’ve already seen the last of the National League without the designated hitter,” Matt Snyder writes. “As part of the owners’ proposal to play the 2020 season (a proposal that appears to have a good chance to turn into a deal), the universal DH would be implemented for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.”"
As commissioner Rob Manfred and the MLBPA’s Tony Clark talked on Wednesday, working to iron out a shortened season that was agreeable to both sides, the topic of the designated hitter was again brought up. There is no word yet how the teams will be aligned for a potential season or when an actual season will begin.
Here is what we do know, according to Snyder.
From reports, we can gather that the season is likely to:
- The season will include about 60-70 games
- There will be expanded playoffs (reportedly 16 total teams)
- The playoffs will conclude by the end of October
As a fan, I want to see baseball of some kind, but this is the type of season where individual records should mean nothing, and the World Series winner should have an asterisk by their name.
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On Wednesday afternoon, news broke over several outlets that both sides had been in discussion to propose a shortened season with players receiving 100 percent of their prorated salaries and $25M of the postseason pool. After both sides could not reach an agreement regarding salaries and when to start the season, the MLBPA told Manfred to let them know “When and Where” to play ball and they would be ready.
It looked as though baseball for 2020 was dead in the water until Manfred and Clark agreed to have meaningful discussions to avoid losing the MLB season entirely.
There are still many items to work out before players return to training facilities and the season can begin. Evidently, what happens with the designated hitter is one item to cross off the long list.
"“Signs are pointing to mid-July, with the regular season getting underway after a second “spring” training. CBS Sports HQ analyst Jim Bowden expects the season to start somewhere between July 15-20,” Snyder adds."
The designated hitter has been part of the American League since 1973 when it was adopted by MLB. The National League has been firm in avoiding the addition to their teams, but it has gained momentum in recent years as a possible change to the way teams like the Miami Marlins and members of the National League approach the game.
"“The owners have already proposed this, meaning we know they are on board. The players wouldn’t turn down the extra opportunity to hang onto a job once one’s defensive chops have eroded — and it’s also likely they can get rosters to expand to 26 or 27 men on a permanent basis as part of these talks — especially since many DHs are veterans who have loud voices in the MLBPA,” Snyder explains."