No designated hitter or MLB draft changes likely for 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says management is focused on pace-of-game changes for 2019 and bolder ideas suggested by players such as expanding the designated hitter to the National League are too complicated to be put in place for this season.

Speaking Friday at the end of an owners’ meeting, Manfred says he is encouraged the players’ association responded to management’s proposal for a pitch clock and a three-batter minimum for a relief pitcher unless an inning ends.

Larger issues such as the DH and changes to the amateur draft will be for talks to determine the next collective bargaining agreement. The current deal expires at the end of the 2021 season, but MLB would be open to major changes as part of an extension of the current deal.

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