MLB, union agree to temporary expanded rosters, ‘Shohei Ohtani rule’

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MLB, union agree to temporary expanded rosters, ‘Shohei Ohtani rule’

DUNEDIN, Fla. — MLB and the MLB Players Association have reached tentative agreement to expand rosters from 26 to 28 players through May 1 to compensate in some way for a 3 ¹/₂ -week spring training, The Post has learned.

In addition, the deal also essentially has a Shohei Ohtani rule with the designated hitter becoming universal in the new collective bargaining agreement. Boston Red Sox Jersey  The new rule stipulates that if the starting pitcher is also hitting in the lineup, then that player remains as the DH even if he is pulled from the start. Thus, if Ohtani, say, pitched five innings, he would still hit through the entire game. This rule is for the life of the new CBA, not just for 2022 and the hope is to promote more two-way players.

The deal also includes a return to using the “ghost” runner in extra innings, but only for 2022. In addition, there will be no more seven-inning doubleheaders. There will be a return to nine-inning games in those situations.MLB and the players’ association have reached agreement on all of these issues. MLB owners are scheduled to vote whether to ratify all of these edicts next week. It is expected to pass because just a simple majority of the 30 owners is needed.

The reason for the bulk of the changes is to try to better protect player health and safety. To that end, for the period rosters expand to 28, a team can Houston Texans Jerseys  have whatever number of pitchers it wants. The belief is that 3 ¹/₂ weeks is not enough time to get arms, especially starters, fully stretched out. The rosters would return to 26 on May 2 and, at that time, teams would be able to have just 13 pitchers on the roster.With nearly all of the top MLB free agents signed, the clearest takeaway from this winter is that not even a 99-day lockout could preclude the most lucrative offseason in baseball history. For all the questions about baseball's present and future, all the hand-wringing about where the game is headed, money talks -- and it says baseball is doing just fine, thank you very much.

Opening Day is a little more than two weeks away, spring games are in full bloom and even with Fernando Tatis Jr. out for three months because of a broken wrist and Ronald Acuña Jr. still on the mend from an ACL tear, the excitement for the 2022 season is palpable. Both East divisions are stacked. Both West divisions loaded up this offseason. And the Central divisions have plenty of talent to be interesting.Here are five more things to consider as the lockout-shortened spring winds down and the return of baseball around the corner.

1. Major league teams have spent more than ever in free agency -- and it isn't close.

The previous record for money spent on free-agent contracts in one offseason was around $2.4 billion in 2016. This year, 130 players have signed major league contracts for $3.265 billion. That's a 36% increase.

Yes, the Yankees' biggest free-agent signing this offseason was Anthony Rizzo at $32 million -- the 27th-biggest commitment in the free-agent class --Chicago White Sox Jersey and their other two free-agent pickups were a mop-up reliever and backup outfielder. They eschewed the five marquee shortstops (largely because Anthony Volpe, No. 6 overall on Kiley McDaniel's top 100 prospect rankings, is a star in the making and maybe only a year from the big leagues), passed on Freeman, watched Scherzer go crosstown and were never deeply involved with any of the other nine-figure guys. Their most impactful move was reshaping the left side of their infield through a trade with Minnesota, taking on $50 million for two years of Josh Donaldson and fetching shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortvedt for catcher Gary Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela.And even after all that, Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA system still has the Yankees pegged to be the best team in the AL with 99 wins. Dan Szymborski's ZiPS system has them at 91 -- the second most in the AL, behind Toronto -- and ESPN's Bradford Doolittle has them at 94 wins, two back of the Blue Jays.

Are the 2022 Yankees better than the team that won 92 games and lost to Boston in the wild-card round last year? Probably not. On the plus side, Luis Severino will return to their rotation, joining Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Jameson Taillon and one of a grab bag of other arms -- or perhaps one of the Oakland starters who could be traded: Sean Manaea or Frankie Montas. Their bullpen looks solid but could get hit by regression. Their lineup remains a strength, based on the way it's projecting out: DJ LeMahieu, Rizzo, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Gallo, Donaldson, Aaron Hicks, Kyle Higashioka, Kiner-Falefa.