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Source: Change on takeout slide rule is coming

MLB.com

Major League Baseball and the Players Association could be coming closer to an agreement on redefining what constitutes a legal slide into second base, a source told MLB.com. Barring unforeseen complications, the changes should be implemented by Opening Day.

The development was first reported by ESPN.

Major League Baseball and the Players Association could be coming closer to an agreement on redefining what constitutes a legal slide into second base, a source told MLB.com. Barring unforeseen complications, the changes should be implemented by Opening Day.

The development was first reported by ESPN.

While this has been a topic of discussion for a while, it became a more public issue after Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley broke the leg of Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada during the postseason last October.

Currently, the rules require that a runner simply be close enough to second to tag the base. For the past two years, MLB has been experimenting in the Arizona Fall League with requiring runners to slide directly to the base.

According to ESPN, any alteration would likely come down somewhere in between, making a sliding runner either touch the base or make an effort to do so. It isn't known whether such plays would be eligible for replay review.

The complicating factor for both sides is finding a way to increase safety for middle infielders while at the same time continuing to allow aggressive baserunning, which includes the ability to break up double plays. That remains a common goal, however, which leads to optimism that an improved approach will be taken.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.