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Report: Active rosters to expand to 26 players in 2020

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Ronald Blum of the Associated Press reports that Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are close to agreeing to expand active rosters to 26 players for the start of the 2020 regular season. This is in exchange for a commitment to discuss larger economic issues after Opening Day, which is later this month.

Additionally, September rosters would be lowered from 40 players to 28 players, beginning in 2020. This is done in part to help speed along the pace of September games, which tended to drag on because teams had many more relief pitching options and thus could afford to make plenty of pitching changes. Additionally, teams not in the playoff picture tended to play their young, inexperienced players even if the game technically mattered because it was being played with a team that was in the playoff hunt. As a result, certain teams that got lucky with their September schedules essentially got free wins down the stretch.

The union wants to discuss larger economic issues as the free agent market stagnated in recent years. While Bryce Harper and Manny Machado eventually got their money, A) it took them a lot longer than usual to actually reach an agreement, and B) lesser-skilled free agents are still on the market or settled for lesser contracts than they might have had to even just a few years ago. There are myriad reasons for free agency becoming what it is today and the union is hoping to address those reasons ahead of December 2021, when the collective bargaining agreement expires. The union is also aware of service time manipulation, so that may be another topic brought up.

Ned Yost to retire as Royals manager

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The Kansas City Royals just announced that Ned Yost will retire following the final game of the season. Mike Matheny will take over as the Royals manager for the 2020 season.

Yost, 65, led the Royals to victory in the 2015 World Series and to back-to-back American League pennants in 2014 and 2015. He will retire as the winningest manager in Royals history. In ten years at the helm in Kansas City he is 744-836 with five games remaining. Before he managed the Royals he managed the Milwaukee Brewers for six seasons, compiling a 457-502 record. In all, he is 1,201-1,338. When he’s done on Sunday he will finish 32nd all-time in games managed with 2,544.

The Royals now will look for the man who will, hopefully, see the current rebuild through. Multiple reporters have cited former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as Yost’s likely replacement. He currently serves as a special advisor in the club’s player development department. He managed the Cards from 2012-18, winning the NL pennant in 2013 and finishing with a record of 591-474 in St. Louis.

Here is the Royals official statement on Yost’s retirement: