Rule of Bum
There has been a lot of talk recently about possible rule changes in MLB, and so for the benefit of the MLB Commissioner and the MLBPA, here are my carefully considered unsolicited suggestions/solutions all in one place:
RESERVE LIST & ACTIVE ROSTER:
There is an MLB Reserve List (AKA "40-man roster"), and just like in the post-season (LDS, LCS, and WS), a club can place only 25 players on the Active List for each series (including series in September). Just like in the post-season, the 25-man Active List can change from series to series. Because most series are three games in three days, a club would only need to have three starting pitchers active for most series, effectively increasing the active list by two players. Obviously if it's a four-game series a club would need four SP on it's 25-man Active List, and five SP would need to be on the club's 25-man Active List in the case of the very rare five-game series. A "26th man" would be eligible to be activated for the second game of a doubleheader, but only if it's a make-up doubleheader scheduled as a result of a game canceled during that series.
A club can option as many as 15 players on its MLB Reserve List to the minors, but it isn't required. For example, if a player is out of minor league options, he can just remain on the club's Reserve List and stay with the MLB club and be paid his MLB salary and accrue MLB Service Time, even if he is almost never placed on the club's Active List. But if a club decides a player on its MLB Reserve List who has minor league options available would benefit from getting regular playing time or innings in the minors, the player can be optioned to the minors. Once optioned, he must remain on Optional Assignment for at least 15 days (or the first 15 days of the MLB regular season if he is optioned to the minors prior to MLB Opening Day) unless he is recalled to replace a player who has been placed on the Injured List, the Paternity Leave List, or the Bereavement/Family Medical Emergency List, or the player is recalled to be the "26th man" in a doubleheader. A player who is not already on Optional Assignment cannot be optioned to the minors after August 31st. All players on Optional Assignment to the minors must be recalled no later than the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.
A player claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers during the waiver period that extends from November 11th through February 15th cannot be placed back onto Outright Assignment Waivers again for at least 30 days.
MLB RULE 5 DRAFT:
A player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft can be optioned to the minors (presuming the player has minor league options available), but he cannot be traded, released, sent outright to the minors, or placed on the MLB 60-day Injured List for at least one full year after being selected (until the conclusion of the next Rule 5 Draft).
There would be a seven-day Injured List for players who have suffered an acute concussion, a 15-day Injured List for players who have incurred other injuries or illnesses, and a 60-day Injured List for players who have suffered a serious injury or long-term illness. A player who suffers an acute concussion can be placed on the 7-day Injured List either during a series or prior to the start of a series, and would be eligible to be reinstated after seven days even if it means being reinstated during a series. A player can be be placed on the 15-day Injured List either during a series or prior to the start of the series, and would be eligible to be reinstated after 15 days even if it means being reinstated during a series. All players on the 15-day Injured List must be reinstated no later than the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season or else be transferred to the 60-day Injured List. A player can be placed on the 60-day Injured List or transferred from the 7-day or 15-day Injured List to the 60-day Injured List either during a series or prior to the start of a series, and a player who is placed on the 60-day Injured List or transferred to the 60-day Injured List can be replaced on the MLB Reserve List by another player. A player on the 60-day Injured List must be reinstated no later than the 5th day after the conclusion of the World Series.
OTHER MLB INACTIVE LISTS:
A player can be placed on the Paternity Leave List or Bereavement/Family Medical Emergency List during a series, and can be replaced on the Active List during the series by another player on the club's MLB Reserve List. A player who is placed on the Paternity Leave List must remain on the list for at least one day but no more than three, and he can be reinstated during a series. A player who is placed on the Bereavement/Family Medical Emergency List must remain on the list for at least three days but no more than seven, and he can be reinstated during a series. If a medical complication or death occurs during or after childbirth, a player can be transferred from the Paternity Leave List to the Bereavement/Family Medical Emergency List and days spent on the Paternity Leave List would be applied to the minimum and maximum number of days a player can spend on the Bereavemernt/Family Medical Emergency List. A player on the Paternity Leave List or Beravement/Family Medical Emergency List must be reinstated no later than 9AM on the day after the conclusion of the World Series.
The trade deadline would be midnight (Eastern) on August 15th. Trade Assignment waivers would be eliminated and no trades (including "waiver trades") could be made after the 8/15 deadline.
POST-SEASON ROSTER ELIGIBILTY LIST:
Only players on a club's MLB Reserve List or MLB 60-day Injured List as of midnight (Eastern) on August 15th would be automatically eligible to be on the club's Post-Season Eligiblity List, but a player who was on the club's MLB 60-day Injured List at midnight on 8/15 would have to be eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day Injured List and then be reinstated to the MLB Reserve List before he could be placed on a post-season active roster. A player cannot be reinstated from the MLB 60-day Injured List during a post-season series. A player who otherwise would have been eligible to be on a club's Post-Season Roster Eligibility List would not be eligible if the player spent any time on the Restricted List as the result of a JDV or JDPTP suspension during the MLB regular season. An injured player who was on the club's MLB Reserve List (and Post-Season Roster Eligibility List) as of midnight on 8/15 could be replaced on the club's Post-Season Eligibility List by any player who was in the club's minor league system as of midnight 8/15, but the injured player would have to be placed on the club's MLB 60-day Injured List and the minor league player would have to replace the injured player on the club's MLB Reserve List before he could be placed on the club's Post-Season Eligibility List as a replacement for the injured player. A player who is injured during a post-season series could be replaced during the series by another player on the club's Post-Season Eligibility List (but a pitcher would have to replace a pitcher and a postion-player would have to replace a position-player), but the injured player or pitcher would have to remain inactive for the balance of that series and the entire next series (LCS or World Series). A player who suffers a concussion during a post-season series can be replaced on the club's Active List during the series by another player on the club's Post-Season Eligibility List, and the injured player can be reinstated after seven days even if it's during a series.
MLB SERVICE TIME:
All players on a club's MLB Reserve List (or 60-day Injured List) who are not on Optional Assignment to the minors accrue one day of MLB Service Time for each day of the MLB regular season. A player on Optional Assignment to the minors does not accrue MLB Service Time while on Optional Assignment.
An unsigned player on an MLB Reserve List who was 19 years or older on the June 5th prior to signing his first contract with an MLB organization is eligible to be an MLB Article XX-B free-agent after eight full professional seasons have elapsed regardless of how many days of MLB Service Time the player has accrued, an unsigned player on an MLB Reserve List who was 17 or 18 on the June 5th prior to signing his first contract with an MLB organization is eligible to be an MLB Article XX-B free-agent after nine full professional seasons have elapsed regardless of how many days of MLB Service Time the player has accrued, and an unsigned player on an MLB Reserve List who was 15 or 16 on the June 5th prior to signing his first contract with an MLB organzation is eligible to be an MLB Article XX-B free-agent after ten full professional seasons have elapsed regardless of how many days of MLB Service Time the player has accrued. This would actually increase the incentive for a club to bring a player up to MLB as soon as possible in order to get maximum value from that player before he becomes a free-agent. (That would be the Kris Bryant Rule).
MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENCY:
The DH would be used in both leagues. The DH can be used as long as the starting pitcher is still in the game. Once the starting pitcher has left the game, the DH must either be replaced in the lineup by the relief pitcher, or the DH can move to a defensive position and the player the DH is replacing in the field would be replaced in the lineup by the relief pitcher. A club can opt to have its starting pitcher be the DH, but the SP would have to leave the game if relieved by another pitcher, unless he moves to another defensive position in order to remain in the lineup after being relieved. (That would be the Shohei Otani Rule).
A starting pitcher must face at least three batters before he can be replaced and a relief pitcher who enters a game during an inning must face at least three batters before he can be replaced or else remain in the game until the third out is recorded. If the third out is recorded prior to the relief pitcher facing three batters, he can be replaced at the start of the next inning. If he is not replaced at the start of the next inning and he has not yet faced three batters, he would have to face three batters over the course of the two innings before he could be replaced.
PITCHER INJURED DURING AN INNING PRIOR TO FACING THREE BATTERS:
If a pitcher is removed from a game because of injury prior to facing three batters (or in the case of a relief pitcher, before facing three batters or recording the third out of the inning), that pitcher must be placed on the 15-day Injured List the next day and the pitcher would not be eligible to be reinstated from the 15-day Injured List during a series.
If a game is tied after eleven innings, a runner is placed at 2nd base at the start of each half-inning beginning with the 12th inning. The runner would be the batter who made the last out in the previous inning. A pinch-runner can be used, but then the player replaced by the pinch-runner is out of the game. If the runner placed at 2nd base to start an inning scores, it is considered an unearned run for scoring purposes. This rule is by no means ideal, and while I'm not crazy about it, it does at least reduce the likelihood that a position player would have to pitch in the 15th, 16th, 17th inning, etc, which in my opinion is worse and even more of a farce than placing a runner at 2nd base to start an extra inning.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 hour 36 min ago (view)
I believe this is the correct take. It's surprising that Len is leaving. He's good, but he had gotten a little too rationalizey over the past few years for me.
However, it seemed he was heavily invested in the Cubs. His departure feels like there is some Ricketts-ish bullshit going on behind the scenes at Marquee that Len wants no part of. Anyway, I wish him well with the other Chicago team
crunch 2 hours 13 min ago (view)
is everything the ricketts touch just falling to shit in 2021? ....well, except their heavy investments in taking over the state of Nebraska politically with one of the sons and heavy investment in supportive state legislators...
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 43 min ago (view)
This makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks Phil!
(And that HR off Hader was unforgettable)
Hagsag 6 hours 7 min ago (view)
Wrigley Rat 11 hours 35 min ago (view)
Len Kasper is leaving the Cubs for the White Sox radio booth.
Charlie 15 hours 52 min ago (view)
I would be happy to see the Cubs no longer spend DH time on Victor Caratini. Provided there's a Kyle Schwarber or better alternative, of course.
Arizona Phil 23 hours 54 min ago (view)
DJL: I don't think Ildemaro Vargas being out of minor league options is much of a concern to the Cubs because as things stand right now he projects as the team's primary utility infielder in 2021. He can play all four INF positions (1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, plus corner OF, too), and he is switch hitter with some pop, especially from the right side (remember the 9th inning HR he hit off Josh Hader in September?).
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 38 min ago (view)
I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point
waveland 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
really appreciate the years and years of your updates
Arizona Phil 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS.
bradsbeard 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH.
Arizona Phil 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Alfonso Rivas reminds me a bit of Rafael Palmeiro when Palmeiro first came up to the big leagues and was a "doubles machine" (before he started hitting home runs).
Rivas played D-1 baseball at the University of Arizona, so (just like Nico Hoerner, who also played in the PAC-12) I don't think he needs a lot of additional time at AAA before he's ready for MLB. He's a very advanced hitter, as long as you are OK with lots of doubles & lots of walks but not many HR.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option
bradsbeard 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose.
Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward.
BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021).
Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft).
Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could.