MLB wants the return of seven-inning doubleheaders and a runner on second in extra-inning games

The 2021 MLB season is starting to take shape. After Liam Hendriks signed with the Chicago White Sox this week, several deals were agreed upon on Friday, including DJ LeMahieu to the Yankees. And now, the owners and the players association are beginning to discuss on-field matters.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, MLB will propose the return of seven-inning doubleheaders and extra-inning games beginning with a runner on second base in 2021 to the union.

From a time of play perspective, both approaches were successful in 2020, and both, especially the seven-inning doubleheaders, will help MLB navigate through potential COVID-related suspension crisis.

Per Nightengale, the MLB Players Association is expected to approve both ideas. But, as you can imagine, they will probably want something back in return.

Will MLB allow the universal DH rule? Will players accept expanded playoffs?

To this point, MLB still doesn’t know whether there will be a universal DH or an expanded postseason with the rosters remaining at 26 players.

As the players want the return of the universal DH rule, and there is goodwill on MLB’s part regarding that specific point, it is expected that both sides reach an agreement as long as the MLB PA agrees to play, once again, with expanded playoffs.

In 2020, the postseason had 16 team, but MLB’s idea this time around is to lower the number to 14, according to Nightengale, “with the best record in each league receiving a first-round bye,” per Rotoworld.

As it turns out, and after an ugly 2020 that had the season pushed back because of coronavirus and some ugly negotiations between MLB and the union, the 2021 campaign is expected to start on time.

Commissioner Rob Manfred recently sent a memo to teams urging them to prepare as if spring training was starting on time in February, so that’s the plan.