MLB's new uniform promise comes with a major catch players won't love

After months of chaos and complaints, it appears MLB is finally resolving some of its uniform issues. Unfortunately, it comes with a catch.
Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals / Scott Kane/GettyImages

MLBPA's scathing memo to players, which was revealed on Sunday by ESPN's Jeff Passan, primarily took aim at Nike for their lack of preparation and failing to take the opinions of its athletes seriously.

"This has been entirely a Nike issue," the memo to players read. "At its core, what has happened here is that Nike was innovating something that didn't need to be innovated."

Of course, we now know that Fanatics is on the MLBPA payroll, which explains why Nike specifically was called out rather than the former company, which creates and distributes the uniforms. Nike creates the concept, while Fanatics mass produces them.

"We cautioned Nike against various changes when they previewed them in 2022, particularly regarding pants," the union memo read. "MLB had been, and has been, aware of our concerns as well. Unfortunately, until recently Nike's position has essentially boiled down to -- 'nothing to see here, Players will need to adjust.'"

It would appear MLB and Nike are finally taking what has been a mostly-negative player response to the Nike Vapor Premier uniform seriously. Unfortunately, any excitement over changes comes with a catch.

MLB will eventually make necessary changes to player uniforms

As Passan wrote on Sunday, MLB and Nike are committed to getting the product right. What that means, I am not sure. And your guess is as good as mine.

The changes are expected to take place by at latest the beginning of the 2025 season. That provides both Nike and the league with plenty of leeway.

As The Athletic ($) was quick to point out, the memo from the MLBPA is not a direct comment from Nike suggesting they will make the necessary changes. If anything, this signals MLBPA and MLB saying "trust us."

"It is the union updating players on perceived progress to that end. It also is not a promise to return to the uniforms from previous seasons. The Nike Vapor Premier is here to stay, as far as fabric and general jersey design are concerned," Stephen J. Nesbitt and Mark Puleo wrote.

The jersey fabric, as well as the overall style, aren't going anywhere, and a long-term fix is unlikely to occur prior to next season. The most likely solution to MLB's interim problem is one involving the distribution of jerseys, as well as "a return to larger lettering on the back of jerseys, remedying mismatched gray tops and bottoms and addressing the new Nike jerseys' propensity to collect sweat," as MLBPA's memo read.