AP Exclusive: Computer plate umps allowed in new labor deal

AP Exclusive: Computer plate umps allowed in new labor deal
The umpiring crew meets at home plate before a baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. (Source: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

(AP) – Computer plate umpires could be called up to the major leagues at some point during the next five seasons.

Umpires agreed to cooperate with Major League Baseball in the development and testing of an automated ball-strike system as part of a five-year labor contract announced Saturday, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The Major League Baseball Umpires Association also agreed to cooperate and assist if Commissioner Rob Manfred decides to utilize the system at the major league level.

The independent Atlantic League and Arizona Fall League experimented with the system last season.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.