Despite the baseball season being just a few months away, there are still major decisions left to be made, beyond free agents and spring training start dates. One of those is whether all teams will have the Designated Hitter again this year, with the topic making waves this afternoon:
MLB memo says union rejects deal for DH and expanded playoffs— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 25, 2021
No question on this...— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) January 25, 2021
Most MLB teams don't have a dedicated DH. Very few teams will go out on sign a veteran (expensive) DH on the free agent market. https://t.co/BqLUj6MwUR
The union's perspective has been the universal DH should not be tied to expanded playoffs. The MLB proposal included the universal DH and the expanded playoffs; the union turned it down.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 25, 2021
Last season, among the many other changes to the shortened season, every team in MLB featured a designated hitter for the first time in league history. That decision was made just for the 2020 season. However, it was never decided one way or the other if the DH would also be used for the 2021 season or any year after that.
While the universal DH has been a hot topic for years, fans in both the National and American League appear to be coming to the same conclusion – the era of hitting pitchers should end.
According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, nearly three-fourths of fans want the universal DH for the 2021 season. Two-thirds of fans want it in place permanently.
Despite the majority opinion growing in favor of the DH, the debate at the heart of the matter still rages on. One of the most-used arguments in favor of allowing pitchers to hit is the managerial decisions and in-game adjustments needed late in NL games.
According to the survey, while a clear majority would rather see consistent offense over double-switches and late-game adjustments, the split is much closer to 50-50.
To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.
As for the DH... stay tuned.
My understanding is that the door hasn't been closed on the DH or expanded playoffs, there is plenty of room for continued negotiations on both topics, I'm told.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) January 25, 2021