As most baseball fans know by now, whenever Major League Baseball wants to experiment with a possible change to the rules, it implements it either in the independent Atlantic League or in the minors. The pitch clock, for example, has been used in the minor leagues since 2015.
The latest experimental alteration, according to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, is the move of second base, which will move slightly closer to home plate during the 2022 season. From Stark's report:
Sources tell The Athletic that in the second half of this season, baseball will be moving second base inward — so it will be closer to first base and third base, by about 13.5 inches.
The interesting thing about the move of the base is it draws attention to the fact that the bases aren't actually, exactly 90 feet apart. Second base is a bit off and has been for well over a century.
The easiest way to grasp this is probably via this image, courtesy of the official MLB rulebook (Appendix 2, page 171). The diamond here -- follow the line around the actual base lines and just ignore the "layout at" part -- shows each line segment on the base paths as exactly 90 feet.
Notice that the line takes its 90-degree turn around both first and third base -- and home plate, for that matter -- but the turn at second happens right in the middle of the base. Each 90-degree angle is 90 feet apart, which means the edges of the bases are all closer than 90 feet to the other.
The move of the base in the second half of the MiLB season, again, on an experimental level, would be to line second base up inside the 90-degree turn like the other bases.
The end result of the move, per The Athletic, is exactly 87 feet between first and second base, when it used to be 88 feet and 1 1/2 inches from base to base. It'll be closer to third, too, obviously, by virtue of moving more toward the middle of the diamond.
We already know Major League Baseball wants to use bigger bases, but now we know moving second base slightly inward toward home plate in order to make the bases more uniform is also on the table.
The bigger bases have an element of player safety attached to them, but moving second base really only has the benefit of likely creating more action on the bases (more stolen bases, more attempts to stretch singles into doubles, closer plays at second on force-outs, etc.).
As long as the results aren't anything extreme, there's a good chance we'll see the change in the majors in the coming years.