The new CBA should make the universal DH permanent; some teams are better equipped to handle it than others
The calendar has flipped from 2021 to 2022, and we’re all still waiting for Major League Baseball to fire back up. The owners locked out the players as soon as the collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 1, immediately bringing the hot stove to a halt. No free agent signings or trades involving the 40-man roster are allowed during the work stoppage.
MLB and the MLBPA are expected to discuss core economic matters this month and those more than anything else will determine when the lockout ends. Baseball is a $10 billion a year business and the how that $10 billion gets divvied up is at the core of the work stoppage. Everything else (rule changes, etc.) is secondary. The lockout will end when the money says so.
Whenever the two sides reaches an agreement, it is expected the new collective bargaining agreement will make the universal DH permanent. There’s a segment of baseball fans who are traditionalists and want pitchers to hit, but they are in the minority. MLB, the MLBPA, front offices, and the majority of fans want the universal DH. It is all but certain we’ll get it starting in 2022.
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Once that happens, the 15 National League teams will have to adjust their rosters and figure out exactly how they will fill that new DH position. Some teams already have a player (or players) who could step into the DH spot. Others will have to bring in a player from outside the organization to be their DH and make their lineup whole.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 15 National League clubs and gauge their current DH situations. Once the lockout ends, teams don’t figure to have much time to finish their offseason business before spring training, so you can be sure NL teams are already thinking about the universal DH even though it’s not official just yet.