The latest Collective Bargaining Agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association included a clause that allows commissioner Rob Manfred to add a player per side in the All-Star Game on the basis of their career achievements, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.
"In addition to the 32 players elected and selected to the All-Star Game, the Commissioner may choose to add one player that he selects to each League's roster, in recognition of each player's career achievements," the clause states, per Rosenthal's report. "If special circumstances warrant, the Commissioner may select more than one player to each league's roster."
Rosenthal uses Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals and Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers as examples of players who could benefit from the clause. Pujols is expected to retire at season's end; Cabrera, meanwhile, became the latest player to collect his 3,000th hit back in April. Neither would be in the running for a position in the Midsummer Classic based solely on their performance this season: Pujols has amassed a 74 OPS+ in 142 plate appearances; Cabrera, for his part, has posted a 105 mark over the course of 266 trips to the plate.
To be clear, neither has been officially named to the roster. MLB will announce this year's starters later this week, on Friday, July 8. The full rosters will then be announced on Sunday, July 10.
This year's All-Star Game is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 19 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The 2020 All-Star Game was originally supposed to take place at Dodger Stadium, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused the event to be scrapped, with MLB instead playing a 60-game schedule and expanded playoffs.