Universal DH projected to arrive in NL for 2022: report

MLB universal dh
REUTERS/Darryl Webb

If there was one good thing that came out of a fairly unproductive day of talks between Major League Baseball and the players’ union, it’s that the universal DH is being looked upon favorably by both parties. 

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Thursday that the universal DH was proposed and that it “seems OK for both sides… unless tied to something else as a bargaining chip. 

Should the rule pass, it would finally bring the designated hitter to the National League and eliminate the requirement for pitchers to bat. The American League has had the DH since 1973 and has been able to boast a more entertaining, high-scoring product since then. 

The universal DH was temporarily put in place during the COVID-shortened, 60-game 2020 season that forced Major League Baseball to disband traditional divisions and group AL and NL teams in geographically-driven divisions. 

Thursday marked the first meeting between MLB and the players’ union concerning core-economic issues since the owners locked out the players on Dec. 2. 

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the league made a proposal that prompted a reaction from the players’ union that was “not positive,” which was expected. Now it’s in the hands of the union to counter the unknown parameters set forth by the league. 

With spring training scheduled to begin in roughly one month, it seems all but given at this point — given the lack of haste exhibited by either side — that the preseason schedule will begin on time.

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