MLB rosters will be reduced from 30 players to 28 starting Thursday and will remain at that number for the rest of the regular season and postseason, sources confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday.
The initial plan had been to reduce rosters to 28 this week before reducing them to 26 after another two weeks. However, the recent outbreak of positive COVID-19 tests led to a change in plans.
Theo Epstein, the Chicago Cubs' president of baseball operations, was asked about roster sizes and said his team would support "anything that will help players stay safe, help players and staff get through the season healthy, both in terms of COVID-19 and staying safe on the field."
"As long as a rule adjustment is conceived to keep players safe and can be applied fairly across the board, we'll be supportive of it," Epstein said.
The taxi squad, meanwhile, will be expanded from three players to five, sources confirmed.
"I think they got it right, Major League Baseball and the Players' Association. Getting it down to 28 makes it more of the baseball that we know, so there's not as much matching up potential," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "And the extra taxi squad, I think, gives everyone coverage, so I think they nailed it."
The Athletic was first to report the changes.