As part of negotiations for CBA, Major League Baseball’s active roster could increase to 26 players
According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, Major League Baseball’s active roster could increase from 25 to 26 players from April through August. By adding a player to what is now a 25-man active roster, limits could be placed on rosters when they expand in September.
Ken Rosenthal reported Thursday, “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.”
Teams can activate their entire 40-man roster in September under the current rules. The players and owners are discussing a new limit to the September rosters of 28 players, with “rules that would permit teams to swap out players, though not on a daily basis.”
From the information Rosenthal provided, it sounds like teams would be able to activate up to 28 players for a series in September. After a three- or four-game series has concluded, teams would then be able to make changes to their active roster for the next series.
Ken Rosenthal explained, “The players’ union, which in the past was reluctant to give up service time for September call-ups, would consider the additional roster spot for the first five months a sufficient trade-off” for the reduction of September rosters.
According to Rosenthal, the concern with expanding the roster to 26 players would mean teams would just add another reliever to the roster. Instead of the 12- or 13-man pitching staffs (five starters, eight relievers), teams would have 14 pitchers on the active roster which would add to the issues of pace of play and length of games.
Rosenthal’s report did not indicate how the additional player would impact rosters for scheduled doubleheaders.
According to multiple reports, Major League Baseball and the MLBA expect the new CBA to be in place before Dec. 1.