LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Major League Baseball plans to eliminate home plate collisions, possibly as soon as next season but no later than by 2015.
Sources tell ESPN.com's Buster Olney that there is a strong desire for MLB's rules committee to to fast track the specific rule changes in time for next season.
"Under the rules changes being discussed, sources told Olney:
"Catchers will not be allowed to block home plate.
"Runners will not be permitted to target the catchers.
"The question of whether or not the plate was blocked or the runner targeted the catcher will be reviewable, with an immediate remedy available to the umpires.
"Catchers or runners who violate the new rules will be subject to disciplinary action.
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement Wednesday at the winter meetings.
"This is, I think, in response to a few issues that have arisen," Alderson said. "One is just the general occurrence of injuries from these incidents at home plate that affect players, both runners and catchers. "We're going to do fairly extensive review of the types of plays that occur at home plate to determine which we're going to find acceptable and which are going to be prohibited."
Approval of the players' union is needed for the rules change to be effective for 2014.
"If the players' association were to disapprove, then the implementation of the rule would be suspended for one year, but could be implemented unilaterally after that time," Alderson said.
Discussion to limit or ban collisions has intensified since May 2011, when San Francisco's Buster Posey was injured by Florida's Scott Cousins. MLB estimates that about 50 percent of concussions are related to collisions.
Information from ESPN.com's Buster Olney and The Associated Press was used in this report.