Major League Baseball is prepared to eliminate the implementation of a pitch clock until at least 2022, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported on Tuesday.
According to Passan, the idea was part of a wide-ranging proposal to the MLB Players Association that would include the ability to implement a three-batter-minimum rule for pitchers and roster-size changes in 2020.
On Feb. 17, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said a pitch clock will be used in spring training this year. A 20-second pitch clock was introduced across Double-A and Triple A in 2015, with an automatic ball used as a penalty for pitchers who did not start their delivery before the clock hit zero. Manfred didn't specify what penalty will be used in spring training.
Manfred has the power to unilaterally enforce a pitch clock for the regular season before Opening Day, but amid tensions between the parties, the league offered not to revisit the issue until after the 2021 expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement as part of a broader set of rule changes.
In addition to a three-batter-minumum rule for pitchers and roster-size changes in 2020, other items mentioned in the league's proposal include limitations on position-player usage as pitchers, getting rid of the non-waiver trading period, further cutting mound visits and potentially shortening inning breaks.
MLB's current collective bargaining agreement expires on Dec. 1, 2021.