LOS ANGELES — Major League Baseball has offered to ditch its proposal for a pitch clock this year and also would go without one in 2019 if the average time of a nine-inning game drops to at least 2 hours, 55 minutes this season.

Speaking after a quarterly owners meeting ended Thursday, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said owners authorized him to implement management’s proposal from last offseason, which calls for a 20-second pitch clock this year, if an agreement cannot be reached with the players’ association. Management has proposed a deal that would phase in new rules over the next three seasons

MLB listened to player’s public comments, and at a Jan. 23 meeting attended by Manfred, deputy commissioner Dan Halem and Clark, MLB proposed no clock this year as part of a three-year plan, Manfred said. There would be a pitch clock in 2019 if the average time of a nine-inning game is higher than 2:55 this year, Manfred said, and a person familiar with the plan told The Associated Press the proposal called for an 18-second timer and only with no runners on base.

MLB proposed if the average time of a nine-inning game in 2019 is 2:50 or higher, a 20-second pitch clock with runners on base would be added for 2020, the person said. MLB did not set a specific deadline for the union to reach an agreement.

The average time of a nine-inning game was a record 3:05 last year and has not been at 2:55 or below since 2011 and at 2:50 or under since 2006.

In other news:


Manfred said MLB’s proposal to put a runner on second base at the start of the 11th inning of the All-Star Game and each additional inning, and also in the 10th inning of spring training games is “a limited purpose tool” and wouldn’t be used in regular-season or postseason games. He said it could be used in the World Baseball Classic.

All big league teams agreed to extend protective netting to at least the far ends of both dugouts this season.

ARBITRATION: Pitcher Shelby Miller won his salary arbitration case against Arizona after missing most of last season because of a torn elbow ligament, a decision that gave players a 2-0 record this year.

Miller was awarded a $200,000 raise to $4.9 million. The Diamondbacks argued he should be paid the same salary as in 2017, when he lost in arbitration after asking for $5.1 million.

INDIANS: Utility man Michael Martinez will be sidelined at least six months following Achilles tendon surgery, and his career could be in jeopardy.

Mark Appel, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 draft, has walked away from baseball without ever throwing a pitch in the major leagues.

Appel, a hard-throwing pitcher from Stanford taken by the Astros with the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, announced his intention to leave the game. He was released by Philadelphia in November.

Appel went 24-18 with a 5.06 ERA over five seasons in the minors with teams for the Astros and Philadelphia Phillies.

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