Major League Baseball announces rule changes involving pitcher usage, roster limits, inning breaks

Paola Ditto
Marzo 14, 2019

Trade deadline: As had been already reported, the August waiver trading period is gone. So does a contender with a sudden area of need call a non-contender after July 31 and tell the non-contender to put a player owed a good amount of money on waivers and the team will claim that player, removing the financial obligation from the non-contender?

- A joint management-union committee will study effects of potential changes to the strike zone, the height of the mound and the distance from the mound to the plate. During the "primary round" each club will nominate one player per eligible position (including three outfielders) who will be voted on by fans. The top three vote-getters will then be involved in a one-day election to determine who ultimately gets the honor. This is another attempt to prevent the slowing of games with pitching changes during half innings.

As Passan details, the All-Star Game selection process will also be getting a facelift in 2019.

Both Clubs will start the 10th inning of the All-Star Game, and each subsequent inning, with a runner on second base (re-entry substitutions allowed for runners).

Also in 2019, the Home Run Derby will come with $2.5 million in prize money, including a $1 million bounty for the victor.

Major League Baseball is hoping to bring more of its top talent into the annual Home Run Derby by raising the stakes.

The precise manner in which the singular trade deadline will impact action on the summer trade market won't be known for certain until we have multiple seasons of data, but from a distance it figures to heighten July trade activity.

Major League Baseball on Thursday announced a series of new rule changes that might end up having a pretty profound impact on the sport moving forward, including a rule that will put even more emphasis on the July 31 trade deadline and All-Star voting. Fans would vote online for All-Star starters, and the top three vote-getters will take part in a one-day election. Teams will be allowed to carry 27 players during a doubleheader.

Active roster limit will increase from 25 to 26 player. A joint committee will determine the limit of pitchers, and if there is no agreement the limit will be 13 (14 from September 1 through the end of the regular season). Clubs must designate each of its players as either a pitcher or a position player prior to each player's first day on the active roster for a given season.

Players designated as a "Two-Way Player". That might be the more notable change since teams could previously use up to 40 players in a given September game. Although the union did not formally accede to the three-batter minimum per pitcher that MLB sought, it agreed not to challenge the league's plans to implement it in 2020.

The disabled list for pitchers has been increased from 10 to 15 days.

Passan added in his report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA will begin discussing labor issues soon that will focus on "the game's most fundamental economic tenets".

As part of the agreement, MLB and the MLBPA will also begin discussions regarding the league's growing labor issues, with an eye toward finding common ground ahead of the current collective bargaining agreement's December 2021 expiration.

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