Several changes are coming to MLB this season, including a single trade deadline and $1 million bonus for the Home Run Derby winner.
Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players' Association announced on Thursday a set of new rules coming over the next two seasons, including implementing a single trade deadline, an election day for the All-Star Game and a $1 million bonus for the winner of the Home Run Derby.
The following rule changes will be implemented in the 2019 season:
• There will be one non-waiver trade deadline, set for July 31, eliminating August trades and causing teams to be aggressive in the way they manipulate deals for the final stretch run to the playoffs.
• The amount of mound visits per team will be reduced from six to five.
• Fan voting for the All-Star Game will be conducted in two rounds. Fans will still vote for players online like they normally do, but the top three players at each position (top six for outfielders) will be selected for a one-day election to pick starters.
• The Home Run Derby will have $2.5 million in prize money, with a cool $1 million dollars going to the winner.
• Inning breaks will be reduced from 2:05 to 2:00 in local games, and from 2:25 to 2:00 in national games. The Commissioner's office has the right to reduce inning breaks to 1:55 in local games in 2020. The Commissioner's office has the right reduce inning breaks to 1:55 in local games in 2020.
The changes in 2020 will include pitchers facing a three-batter minimum and new roster expansion set for the 2020 season.
While all the changes are meant for helping the future of the game, it will be the provision that the league and the union can start on the important issue of starting negotiations of a new labor deal that could be deemed the most important. The current labor deal expires in December 2021.
Some of the issues expected to be discussed in a new labor deal includes service time manipulation that has been used lately to keep prospects in the minors.