NEWARK (CBSMiami/AP) – A league that historically doesn’t like change is contemplating a fairly big one.
Commissioner Rob Manfred thinks baseball may need to consider moving the trade deadline back to give teams in the hunt for a wild card more time.
A second wild card in each league was added in 2012, keeping more teams in playoff contention long past the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. And those clubs may not have enough time to evaluate whether their rosters are good enough to get one.
“I think that the July 31st deadline is something that we may want to revisit in the context of the revised playoff format,” Manfred said Wednesday. “Obviously when you have two additional opportunities to be in the playoffs, you have more teams in the hunt and they may want to wait a little longer before they make decisions.”
“On the other hand, you’ve got to remember, we want teams that the core of which have been together for the year playing in the postseason,” he said. “So you have to just balance those two issues, I think.”
Manfred spoke before joining MLB Ambassador for Inclusion Billy Bean on a panel at the “Beyond Sport United” program. Commissioners Adam Silver of the NBA and Gary Bettman of the NHL had taken part in earlier discussions.
Manfred said baseball has been talking with President Barack Obama’s administration about U.S. relations with Cuba. He hopes there can be some exhibition games on the island next spring and a more regularized immigration process so Cuban players could play in the majors and also be allowed to return home.
The commissioner also said his meeting with Pete Rose to discuss his request for reinstatement to baseball would come later in the summer, after the Hall of Fame inductions.
Manfred wouldn’t elaborate on his criteria for ending Rose’s ban, saying that would be unfair to the career hits leader and would be detailed after a decision has been reached.
“I’ll explain to people where I’m coming down and why I got there,” Manfred said.
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