Major League Baseball eliminates multiple trade deadlines, 40-man September rosters

Ruben Hill
March 14, 2019

What will be in place this summer are a single July 31 trade deadline, an All-Star election day and a Home Run Derby with the game's biggest stars (both sides hope) vying for a $1 million bonus. The much-talked-about three-batter minimum? Certainly, there won't be any resolution on those issues anytime in the near future, but the early efforts to maintain labor peace will assuredly be among the more fascinating storylines to follow in the months and possibly years to come.

The big issue is whether the agreement made official Thursday provides a first step toward improved cooperation between Major League Baseball and the Players Association that leads to remedies on financial matters particularly worrisome to the union and the extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. So here's a quick look at what each new rule will mean for Major League Baseball. The single trade deadline will fall on July 31, which has always been the usual non-waiver trade deadline. Also gone is all the confusion that often stemmed from the waiver trade rules. 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?

That's a lot to keep track of.

Though the current Major League Baseball collective bargaining agreement doesn't expire until 2021, the two sides have also agreed to start having conversations as soon as possible in efforts to avoid any sort of future strike, and will touch on some of the games most "fundamental" economic issues. It's a recipe for fun.

The victor of the annual event will take home $1 million beginning this season. Starting in 2019, the prize for the content will be $1 million.

-The active roster limit will increase by one to 26 from opening day through August 31 and will drop from 40 to 28 through the end of the regular season.

The active roster limit from Opening Day through August 31st and in Postseason games will increase from 25 to 26, and the minimum number of active players will increase from 24 to 25.

- 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. It will in 2020, though, the league says. The MLBPA didn't agree to the rule change, via reports, but the Commissioner's Office can implement it anyway next year.

Time between innings will be cut from 2:05 to 2:00 for local games and 2:25 to 2:00 for national games.

Teams will be limited to five mound visits per game, down from six last season.

It's an exorbitantly layered conversation and one to which there's no clear and easy fix, so it's promising that the two sides have agreed to at least begin even preliminary discussions that could lead to a system which all parties find more palatable.

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

Players have been furious at slow free-agent markets during the first two off-seasons of the five-year labour contract, set to expire December 1, 2021.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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