Single trade deadline among Major League Baseball rule changes

Ross Houston
March 15, 2019

Voting for the All-Star Game - this year's game will be held at Progressive Field on July 9 - will be conducted in two rounds.

Inning Breaks: Subject to discussions with broadcast partners, inning breaks will be reduced from 2:05 to 2:00 in local games, and from 2:25 to 2:00 in national games.

Trade waivers will be eliminated, but the July 31 trade deadline will remain the same.

The two sides are also nearing an agreement on an All-Star Game Election Day. The derby will include $2.5 million in prizes overall giving more incentive for the big-name stars to participate.

The new rules could also see a reduction in position players taking the mound as everyone will be designated as either a position player or a pitcher, with an exception made for anyone that throws 20-plus innings and starts 20 or more games at any position including DH. Prize money for the players on the winning All-Star team will be increased in 2019. The top-three vote getters will be put on the ballot for a one-day election. Contending clubs, one would imagine, will be forced to be more aggressive when seeking to acquire talent, while borderline teams who would previously have waited until mid- or late-August to sell off assets in a series of waiver claims will now be forced to make a decision much sooner.

Prize money for the Home Run Derby will be increased to $2.5 million The victor will receive $1 million. (Teams will be allowed a 27th player for doubleheaders.) Beginning in September, rosters will expand only to 28 players, compared to the previous mark of 40 players.

Tony Clark, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, told Alex Spier of the Boston Globe that the MLBPA was not on board with the three batter minimum rule for pitchers and that MLB chose to implement it unilaterally.

Major League Baseball and the Players Association will form a joint committee to consider other changes.

- Rosters will increase from 25 to 26 through August 31 (with the likely cap being 13 pitchers) and to 28 in September (likely 14 pitchers).

It does seem like the September roster decrease is a little pointless with the three batter rule for pitchers but that's its own debate. Starters and relievers will be required to face a minimum of three batters or to end a half-inning, except for "incapacitating injury or illness".

Every player will have to be labeled as a position player or pitcher.

Also coming in 2020, each team's pitching staff on an active roster will be capped at a number that will be decided on by a committee of Major League Baseball and the players' association. That designation will remain in effect for the player and can not change for the rest of the championship season and postseason. The Players Association has agreed that it will not grieve or otherwise challenge the Office of the Commissioner's implementation of the amended Rule 5.10 (g).

For pitchers, the minimum placement period on the injured list will increase from 10 to 15 days. As part of the recent agreement, both the league and the Union have already agreed to "imminently" begin discussing the labor issues that have been thrust to the forefront of the industry despite the fact that the current collective bargaining agreement doesn't expire until 2021.

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