Single trade deadline among Major League Baseball rule changes

Feb 17 2019 West Palm Beach FL USA MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. Mandatory Credit Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 17 2019 West Palm Beach FL USA MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. Mandatory Credit Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

A single trade deadline, an All-Star Game election day and a million-dollar bonus for the Home Run Derby victor will be implemented in 2019 - and a three-batter minimum for pitchers and roster expansion will happen in 2020 - as part of a deal between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association.

They're also giving pitchers a three-batter minimum, roster expansion and a firm trade deadline of July 31, all of which will start in 2020.

There have been major post-July 31 trades in recent years.

Nevertheless, the agreement jointly announced by the sides Thursday promises dramatic alterations to the game when implemented in 2019 and '20. The MLBPA hopes this forces teams to be more aggressive in the offseason, instead of waiting until the summer to make moves. The All-Star Game Election Day will be a chance for Major League Baseball to market its players.

Mound visits per team will be reduced from six to five.

Both the Home Run Derby and All-Star tweaks come in an attempt to generate more buzz about the competitions while also encouraging the game's biggest stars to participate.

- 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).

Most notably, Major League Baseball plans to implement a three-batter minimum for relief pitchers in 2020, in an attempt to limit the number of pitching changes in the game as part of a pace-of-play initiative.

Also taking effect in 2019, inning breaks will be reduced from 2 minutes and 5 seconds to a flat two minutes for local games, and from 2:25 to 2:00 in national broadcasts.

The Home Run Derby winner's prize money will increase to $1 million with an eye on getting the best power bats - are you listening Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge? - not to skip the event. Doubleheaders will allow a 27th roster member.

I wonder if we will see more trades for minor leaguers - even veteran minor leaguers not on 40-man rosters - as a way to create organizational depth in case injury strikes in August.

- Following the ninth inning of an extra-inning game or in a game in which his team is losing or winning by more than six runs when the player enters as a pitcher. They tabled discussions to implement a pitch clock, but the new rules will force every pitcher to face a minimum of three batters.

The amount of pitchers allowed on a single roster will be capped, though the number has yet to be determined.

The changes for the 2019 season won't be as drastic.

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the USA and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball. It's the provision that the sides will begin discussing labor issues imminently, far earlier than they typically would with a CBA that doesn't expire until December 2021.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.