MLB Considering Changes To Roster Expansion

Commissioner Bud Selig's special committee for on-field issues has talking about late-season roster expansion at length and there is increasing momentum to change the rules by next season, multiple industry sources have told Scott Miller of  The current plan would still allow teams to expand rosters in the final month of the season but would require clubs to designate which players are eligible before each game.

The most popular scenario being discussed is to expand September rosters to 30, with each club's 25-man roster on August 31 being locked in throughout September.  Locking in the rosters at the end of August would prevent teams from de-activating the starters not pitching in a particular game in order to load up with four additional minor leaguers. 

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly have both spoken out in favor of changes to the September roster rules.  Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who is a member of Selig's committee, said that tweaking the rules would make sense "for a number of reasons".

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57 Responses to MLB Considering Changes To Roster Expansion Leave a Reply

  1. grant77 3 years ago

    I wonder what the players union will have to say about this.

    • petrie000 3 years ago

      “The salaries don’t change, right? okay then, knock yourselves out”

      • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

        i’m not saying they should object, but the answer to that question is “wrong”. roster size/expansion directly impacts service time, which directly impacts salaries

      • Salaries do change when a player is called up to the majors.

  2. EdinsonPickle 3 years ago

    How long has this current set up of expanding the rosters to 40 been active? I’m curious.

    I’m definitely in favor of changing the roster expansion in some way. I’m not sure what way would be best, but that suggested idea of locking in rosters sounds pretty good right now.

  3. mgsports 3 years ago

    Have Unlimited Number all Season and no Trade Dead Line Date.

    • how about players can play for multiple teams as well? Or maybe pitchers can re-enter the game as many times as their manager likes? or you could just pick one hitter to hit as many times as he wants?

      • Andy Repinski 3 years ago

        Ryan Braun could be the designated hitter and bat every time. And when he gets on, Carlos Gomez runs every time.

      • rainyperez 3 years ago

        I wonder what a team would do if Bonds was able to hit every single time?

  4. rainyperez 3 years ago

    How about expanding the roster for the regular season? Obviously not to a 40 man but adding like a player or two to the 25 man roster could be good. NL could really benefit from this with their double switches and adding additional rest for players as well.

  5. mu_Zak 3 years ago

    The most often player/manager complaint is that the rosters should allow at least 27 players at all times. This keeps teams from having to use the DL when a player is only out for less than a week, and allows a P to easily skip a start. This would ease the transition to Sept callups and likely keep the majority of players playing the same.

    • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 3 years ago

      Why not have a 7 day DL in addition to the 15 DL and the 60 day DL?

      There are plenty of injuries that aren’t severe, but you can’t really play with for a few days or a week. Brandon Phillips had a couple like that this year. So did Scott Rolen.

      Players that have concussions can go on the 7 day. I think they can allow the less injured sit out for a week.

      • CrisE 3 years ago

        This makes sense. Most of the time 25 is fine. it’s just when a team is on a bad road trip, gets blown out and trashes the pen, or has a couple of lingering injuries that expanded rosters are brought up. The Twins don’t have a deep bench and are very hesitant to put guys out for two weeks, but they end up with some absurd lineups as a result. Fans would rather see a decent game than find out how a manager is going to get by with 23 for four days.

        • mu_Zak 3 years ago

          Right, that is the point. But it’s also that teams will rarely use more than 27 players, so if they’re already there there’s no real change in September.

      • this is a good idea. no more short benches when player is day to day

  6. itsmewade 3 years ago

    Mr. Selig,

    Can you also make a decision in regards to the A’s stadium situation. I think it is fair that the A’s are given an answer in a reasonable time, and that deadline was two years ago. Even if you decide not to allow the A’s to move to San Jose, I think a decision must be made. Then, the A’s know what direction they need to go and A’s fans won’t be frustrated with new rules being discussed about and decided upon within a months time.

    Frustrated A’s fans

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

      You see, that would require Selig to actually make a decision on a tough choice. The commissioner’s job is supposed to have absolute power to keep order through the league… Selig has been a mouse, afraid to do anything.

    • This is off topic, but the problem here stems from the territorial rights that were given to the Giants in the San Jose area. It’s a bit ironic that, if the A’s were to move to San Jose, the Giants would have the closest ballpark to the City of Oakland and the entire east bay. It’s just a big game of billionaire monopoly.

    • jiml60 3 years ago

      Ask Jerry Reinsdorf, Bud is only the puppet.

    • Bob Hulsey 3 years ago

      Be careful what you wish for. You might have your team forced into the AL West against their will just to get some otherwise normal business process approved.

      Frustrated Astros fans

      • itsmewade 3 years ago

        Haha, I hear you. At this point, I’d be happy with a move to North Carolina and an AL East spot.

  7. fireboss 3 years ago

    If Fredi Gonzalez thinks it’s a good idea then we most certainly shouldn’t do it.

  8. gvahut 3 years ago

    How about 26 players during the April-August time period, and designate one inactive player each day (the next day’s starting pitcher for example). That would give a little more flexibility and not be quite so limiting on position players on the bench.

    • Crucisnh 3 years ago

      Probably the previous day’s starting pitcher is more likely… 😉

  9. Karkat 3 years ago

    Yes yes yes please this. I hate watching pitching changes for every batter to keep playing matchups in September. A few extra guys is okay (fatigue and whatnot; getting looks at prospects), but they should be playing the same game in September they were playing in May.

    • Trout Almonte 3 years ago

      Indeed, kinda annoying keeping scores with like 20 pitching changes. It’s like they say, “You can’t win a division in April, but you can certainly lose one.”

  10. tdw815 3 years ago

    Make the rosters 26 from April to August and 30 for September. also they should play at least 3 day-night double headers on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and on those days they can expand the roster to 30

    • i like the doubleheader part n also let the reds play the first game each year like days of old.

  11. is this really that big of an issue? when is the last time a team has added more than a handful of players after sept 1? Its not like half of AAA is on a plane/bus to the big leagues once rosters expand.

    • truthlemonade 3 years ago

      exactly. When was the last time a team called up even as many as 8 players? what is the average number of callups? what is the fewest of the past 10 years? Most?

  12. Chris_RG 3 years ago

    Why fix what isn’t broken (What’s wrong with adding a players in September?) instead of fixing what is broken (lack of roster flexibility until the regular season)? Seems like a typical Bud Selig non-solution to a non-problem while the elephant in the room is never touched.

    • mu_Zak 3 years ago

      Jim Leeland contends that there’s too great of a difference with the large # of callups available.

      • Chris_RG 3 years ago

        The rules are the same for the Tigers as they are for anyone else though….they’re entitled to call up as many players as any other team.

        • mu_Zak 3 years ago

          Just about all players and managers would agree to expanding the regular season roster though and there’s movement behind that.

          • Chris_RG 3 years ago

            I would agree there. I just see no valid reason to limit September callups.

          • mu_Zak 3 years ago

            Expanding the regular season roster would basically make Sept callups moot. With 27 players teams would already have the theoretical 1 extra P/position player you would really want to have. Those players would get the lion’s share of time even in Sept so it would limit the number of unseen players for any opponent.

  13. Matt Miller 3 years ago

    When is MLB going to consider an expansion DRAFT? Vegas, Mexico City, Nashville, Portland…let’s get more teams.

  14. BrentL 3 years ago

    If the A’s stay do they still build a new stadium? The plans for Cisco Field are beautiful an would be one of the nicest ball parks in baseball, probally top 10. Would the Cisco Field plans just now happen in OAK?

    • letsgogiants 3 years ago

      Well there was talk that there would be a new stadium in Jack London Square near the bay, just like with the Giants. However, the idea was quickly dead and talks of Fremont popped up (before that plan was abolished as well). However, I remember earlier this year, a group of investors wanted to buy the team and stay in Oakland (no official offer was made, of course), hence bringing up the idea of building a new stadium by the bay, which I think would be the most logical choice. However, Lew Wolff doesn’t appear interested in selling the team, and I don’t see what this franchise is going to do until MLB steps in and does something about the situation.

  15. mgsports 3 years ago

    Orlando and Hawaii for A’s if move.

    • Tko11 3 years ago

      No…Florida has too many teams, Hawaii is too far from mainland USA, imagine a trip from New York to Hawaii and then back the next day. Vegas or Charlotte would be good but they aren’t really moving they just want a new stadium.

      • rainyperez 3 years ago

        MLB wil stay away from Vegas because of the whole gambling thing. I think A’s should go to Sacramento, Portland, or OKC.

        • Tko11 3 years ago

          Id agree with OKC, it seems like a great city with good fans from what I can tell watching Thunder games.

  16. JohnW 3 years ago

    “The most popular scenario being discussed is to expand September rosters
    to 30, with each club’s 25-man roster on August 31 being locked in
    throughout September.”

    Aren’t some minor league games played after August 31? Do these teams just forfeit if the majority of their roster goes to the major leagues because of this change?

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      The 25 man roster on 8/31 used to be locked in previously regardless and was changed. It was only changed for good reason.. Severe injuries to players, like Jim Rice in 1975 who was hit in the wrist and it was fractured by a guy who was awful anyway (vern Ruhle) and missed the entire post season and the team had to play the play offs and WS with a 24 man roster. there are other examples of this.

      Teams abused the privilege and it’s why there will be changes. catastrophic injuries.. Fractured wrist, concussion (can’t recall who it was) players should be allowed to be replaced, but not guys like Tim Wakefield, who people like Francona just don’t want on the PO roster and invent issues with.

  17. T-Bone 3 years ago

    Sounds like these managers and Selig don’t want teams with loaded farm teams to be able to keep all of their talent. September call-ups allow teams to save players from the Rule 5 draft. I know with my team (Royals) they probably won’t even call up the AAA player of the year Wil Meyers this September, because in doing so they would be taking up a spot on the roster that could be used to save another minor league player they want to continue to develop. I understand were these managers are coming from; maybe we are hoarding some of the young talent. However, I also believe that since some of these small market teams have been investing heavily over the past 4-5 years to build these minor league teams with talent, it shouldn’t just be stripped away from them.

  18. Read a comment somewhere of a roster for 29 with the four bench sitting starters being mark as inactive for the game for September, but I like that idea for the whole year.

  19. Personally, I’d rather see September call-ups not counting towards a player’s service time. It’s unfair – for everyone, from the team to the fans – that we can’t watch Billy Hamilton steal bases as a pinch runner because they don’t want him to have 0.030 service time.

  20. itsmewade 3 years ago

    They do fine for five months, why would they need more than 30?

  21. basemonkey 3 years ago

    For most teams, yes, thats true. Though on a team like the Os, who is very aggressive in using their AAA and ML roster creatively, it would hurt them. They’ve been effectively working with an expanded roster for some time by conducting a clinic on timing DL, waiver wire, and DFA transactions so that reinforcements and pitching is coming in as needs arise all season.

  22. rainyperez 3 years ago

    More than 30 might be overdoing it but I definitely could see 26 or 27 working.

  23. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Agreed.. 1st priority should be to unload 2-4 of the teams that cannot support themselves 1st without handouts from the other teams in the league.

    Every team should be able to survive..Within it’s own means.. In is’s local market by sharing at most national revenue and that DOES NOT mean certain teams that cannot get decent local tv deals (for instance) being able to stick their grubby fingers into the other teams pockets to support them and keep them afloat, or into other teams pockets for any other reason, other than National contracts. Can’t draw fans locally? Goodbye! The cure has always been an easy one.

  24. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Salary cap (hard cap) and salary floor that is close to the cap are good things, but who, for example can see the TB Rays, Athletics, Padres paying an annual salary of 100m if that was set as an annual floor? That is nearly 50% less than the penalty cap of 189m for next season, not even close to the cap.

    If the MLBPA is going to ever consider a salary cap, one had better know that they are going to demand that teams that refuse to spend (like those) far more on salary than they ever have before by any means possible and don’t expect the other owners for handouts, or to pitch in with the local TV revenue either.

    Teams can either fold, or locate to better areas and stop all this nonsense now. many of us get fed up with teams in poor markets that cannot (and never have) supported teams, yet various owners have demanded new stadiums, time after time that they have not paid for, but tax payers have when the simple fix was either a move.. or flat out folding of the franchise.

    Set every team to pay 100m.. RIGHT NOW and see how many exist See how many manage to pay that much on their own. No excuses for lack of talent from 1 year to the next to maintain that amount.. Just do it, or pay the consequences. The league overall will be stronger when/if the ones who cannot maintain teams are gone/moved where they can.

  25. itsmewade 3 years ago

    More than 30 is too many. 30 is too many. Players are tired the entire season. It’s not like they just automatically get tired as soon as September 1st hits. If they expand it, they should expand it to 26 otherwise it will get ridiculous with the pitching changes every batter.

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