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Inside look at Giants’ player-exec tandem that helped shape new MLB rules

Giants, Austin Slater

The MLB is implementing some big rule changes in the 2023 season. Two key members of the San Francisco Giants played a sizable role in the voting process, even though they were not in favor of some of the new rules.

According to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, the tandem of outfielder Austin Slater and chairman Greg Johnson made up two of the 11 seats in the MLB’s committee in charge of discussing and voting on the rule changes, which included the banning of the shift, the implementation of a pitch clock and making the bases larger. Slater voted against the two former rules but was still pleased with the process as a whole.

“We are disappointed that more of our feedback wasn’t included in the final proposal,” Slater said, via The Athletic. “But players will adjust as we always do. At the end of the day, these changes will improve our sport and hopefully be viewed positively by fans.” Slater took the opposite stance of his fellow Giants outfielder Joc Pederson, who is vehemently against the shift. The new defensive rule incentives more hits but also restricts defenses.

The Giants were one of two teams to send a player-executive tandem, with the St. Louis Cardinals sending pitchers Jack Flaherty and chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. The three other members of the respective tandems shared Slater’s voting pattern. Johnson is not upset with the process, either.

“Despite the vote, I would say the dialogue was very collaborative, very positive, very respectful,” the Giants chairman said, via The Athletic. “It wasn’t like you were in a battle going back and forth. People tried to be very thoughtful in this process.”