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

MLB, MLBPA Agree To Single Trade Deadline, Changes To Roster Size

Big changes are coming to Major League Baseball in 2019.

These rules are likely connected to each other.

Players will be able to be listed as a Two-Way Player if they have accrued at least 20 Major League Innings pitched as well as 20 Major League Games started as a position player or DH. After September 1, teams must carry 28 players; September call-ups are, by and large, done.

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

Baseball is expected to make the official announcement regarding the rule changes on Thursday.

Also coming in 2020, each team's pitching staff on an active roster will be capped at a number that will be decided on by a committee of Major League Baseball and the players' association.

~ Rosters will expand from 25 to 26 players in 2020.

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

Trade Deadline: The trade deadline will remain July 31st; however, trade waivers will be eliminated. They tabled discussions to implement a pitch clock, but the new rules will force every pitcher to face a minimum of three batters. 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?

Meanwhile, the annual MLB All-Star Game will now have voting conducted over two rounds. First, the "Primary Round" will have the team nominate one player per eligible position. In late June or early July, an "Election Day" will be held in which the top three vote-getters at each position in each League during the Primary Round (including the top nine outfielders) will be voted on by fans during a prescribed time period to determine the All-Star Game starters. Additionally, the prize money awarded to players on the winning All-Star team will be increased beginning with the 2019 All-Star Game.

All-Star Game bonus payments will be given to the top three vote-getters at each position in each League during the Primary Round (top six for outfielders).

Also in 2019, the Home Run Derby will come with $2.5 million in prize money, including a $1 million bounty for the victor. The rule was implemented unilaterally by the Office of the Commissioner.

This rule is created to end the practice of bringing on pitchers specifically to face one particular batter. The victor of the Home Run Derby will receive $1 million.

- Pitchers will have to serve a 15- rather than 10-day Injured List period as a way to try to further thwart roster manipulation.

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