Baseball purists, rejoice. There will be no universal DH in MLB, at least for now.
The MLB Players Association voted to turn down a deal that would have implemented the universal DH (which players are in favor of), in exchange for an expanded playoff field. Barring a change in negotiations, the DH will remain in the AL only for 2021.
Both leagues used the designated hitter during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
MLB offered a universal DH if the union agreed to expanded playoffs. Union rebuffed the deal, which included extra money for players, so at least for now there will be no universal DH.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 25, 2021
As CBS Sports’ Mike Axisa notes, if players are going to agree to the expanded playoff field, they’re going to want a lot more than just the universal DH.
Would've made the Chris Archer trade look fair. Universal DH just isn't a big bargaining chip at all. https://t.co/EJLeVE6v5j
— Mike Axisa (@mikeaxisa) January 25, 2021
If we had to guess, it is still a matter of when, not if, baseball puts the DH in both leagues. It just makes too much sense, even if National League fans and baseball traditionalists object.
However, if the owners are hellbent on getting an expanded postseason, they are going to have to offer up more incentives than just the universal DH.