Baseball owners are likely to give the go-ahead this week to spend the money for expanding instant replay next season.
A baseball official familiar with the deliberations, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday, said management probably would approve the additional video review by umpires in phases. The go-ahead to spend the funds probably will occur Thursday. Approval of the rules likely would be put off until the January owners' meeting.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
For expanded replay to start next season, agreements with the World Umpires Association and Major League Baseball Players Association would have to be reached.
"Both parties are working diligently to iron out every possible scenario that could occur with a replay," WUA President Joe West said.
Procedures were tested last week at the Arizona Fall League. West said Ted Barrett, Alfonso Marquez, Jim Reynolds and Mike Winters were among the big league umpires who participated in the video reviews.
"There were things that happened that need to be worked out," West said.
For instance, he said when a runner passed a base and had to go back to retag, does a manager ask for video review immediately or does he first ask the crew chief to consult the all the umpires? Under the contemplated rules, a manager wouldn't be able to argue a call and then ask for a video review, but it's not clear yet whether asking for a consultation would be considered an argument.
Major League Baseball started using instant replay to aid umpires for home run calls in August 2008, helping determine whether a potential home run cleared the fences or was fair. Under the new system being contemplated, virtually all calls other than balls and strikes potentially would be subject to review by video in New York. It has not been determined whether umpires will be the people reviewing the calls, the baseball official said.
Peter Woodfork, MLB's senior vice-president of baseball operations, declined comment.