Commissioner Bud Selig could fine teams up to $2 million instead of $250,000 and order increased revenue sharing under rule changes he hopes owners will approve next week.
The changes are contained in amendments to the Major League Agreement scheduled for a vote Jan. 19-20, when owners meet in Phoenix. They are part of an overhaul that will eliminate the American and National leagues as legal entities.
In January 1994, owners weakened the commissioner's power to act in the best interests of baseball by prohibiting that authority on any matter subject to a vote by teams.
Since then, some teams have ignored the commissioner's office, especially Selig's directive to consider more minorities for executive and manager openings.
One change Selig is proposing would give him broad power to order more revenue sharing, saying he would "without limitation" have the right to ensure "there is an appropriate level of long-term competitive balance among the clubs."
* TRACHSEL SIGNS: The Devil Rays agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent RHP Steve Trachsel, pending completion of a physical examination. Trachsel, who led the major leagues with 18 losses last season, had declined an offer of salary arbitration from the Cubs, with whom he has played since 1993. The contract reportedly is for $1 million.