The size of rosters has been a huge talking point in baseball over the last year or so. For many years, MLB teams were allowed 25 players on the active roster, with that expanding to 40 on Sept. 1.
There was a pretty big change planned for 2020, before the world did ... well, you’re aware of everything that’s happened in the last six months. Rosters would instead expand to 26 players, but they would be capped at 28 for the late season call-ups.
And then the coronavirus hit, and MLB and the Players Association had to adjust on the fly to find roster rules that would accommodate a season unlike any other. The solution: start with 30 players, trim down to 28 after two weeks, and then down to the previously scheduled 26 after two more weeks, where rosters would stay throughout the postseason.
No more. With coronavirus outbreaks hitting a few teams, the league and the union have decided that the cut to 28 players this week will remain, but that teams get to stay at that number all the way through the World Series.
Union telling players that roster size will reduce to from 30 and 28 on Thursday and remain at that level for the rest of the season and postseason, source tells The Athletic. Taxi squad will be expanded from three players to five players for remainder of the season.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 4, 2020
The taxi squad is also getting an expansion. Previously three players were allowed on the taxi squad, which is a group that travels with the team on road trips. The players on the taxi squad are the only ones available to the team should they decide to make a roster move while on the road.
Now that’s expanding to five players, to add a little security in the event of a team outbreak or some bad injury luck. Previously it was mandated that one of the three players on the taxi squad must be a catcher — it’s unclear if there are any new restrictions with the five-player group.
The San Francisco Giants still need to find a way to trim two players off the roster, which isn’t an enviable task, but at least they can stay at 28. With the way Gabe Kapler uses pitchers and platoons, that sure seems like a good thing.