August trades will no longer be allowed under the MLB's new single non-waiver deadline.
Major League Baseball is abolishing August trades and switching to a single non-waiver trade deadline on July 31, the league announced in a statement on Thursday. The switch marks one of six rules changes the MLB and players' union will adopt this season.
Players can be placed and claimed on outright waivers after July 31, but they cannot be traded after that date.
The trade deadline rule change aims to eliminate confusing trade waivers in August and hopes to encourage teams to set their rosters sooner in the season and to create more certainty for players.
The idea was first proposed by the union, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, and is designed is to protect the competitive integrity of the 162-game regular season. The switch to a single July deadline means that late-season salary dumps or big August additions will no longer be allowed.
In 2018, 48 trades were made in July before the non-waiver deadline compared to 24 made in August ahead of the old deadline for setting postseason rosters. While trades tend to occur before the non-waiver deadline as is, big moves have still been made in August by several teams. Seven-time All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander was sent to the Astros in August of 2017.
Josh Donaldson, Andrew McCutchen, Curtis Granderson and David Freese all joined eventual postseason qualifiers last August.