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

Rex Christensen
March 15, 2019

Big changes are coming to Major League Baseball in 2019.

In addition to changes governing the All-Star Game, TV timeouts and mound visits, MLB and the Major League Baseball Player's Association announced new rules Thursday that will fundamentally alter the way teams construct their rosters, as well as change the roles players may be groomed for in player development.

With the elimination of the August 31 waiver deadline, all trades will have to be made by July 31, the old non-waiver deadline.

Trade deadline: As had been already reported, the August waiver trading period is gone.

There also are even bigger changes coming for the 2020 season. The Players Association has agreed that it will not grieve or otherwise challenge the Office of the Commissioner's implementation of the amended Rule 5.10 (g).

Active roster limit will increase from 25 to 26 player.

The 2020 season will feature changes to how many players can be on the active roster and a minimum on how many batters a pitcher must face before being removed from the game.

There will be a cap on the number of pitchers that teams are allowed to carry on the active roster, that will be determined by the joint committee. Under the agreement, players will be designated as position players or pitchers - with the exception of those who throw 20-plus innings and start 20 games in the field or at DH, who will be two-way players.

Teams must designate before each game whether a player will be used as a pitcher or position player before each game.

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Every player will have to be labeled as a position player or pitcher.

These rules are likely connected to each other.

The disabled list for pitchers has been increased from 10 to 15 days. Similarly, the minimum period that optioned pitchers must remain in the minors will increase from 10 to 15 days.

Inning Breaks: Subject to discussions with broadcast partners, 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 maximum number of mound visits allowed to each team has been reduced to five, from six.

All-Star Game: Another previously reported wrinkle, All-Star Game fan voting will now be done in two rounds. During the "Primary Round", each Club will nominate one player per eligible position (three outfielders), who will be voted on by fans. Starters for the Midsummer Classic will be chosen in a one-day "Election Day" by fans who will choose among three finalists at each position. Imagine Francisco Lindor or Jose Ramirez at the plate needing to hit 13 home runs to win the derby and win the bonus money.

Both teams in the All-Star game will start the 10th inning with a runner on second base.

A revamped All-Star Game would also go into effect, with the victor of the traditional Home Run Derby getting a $1 million jackpot. The derby will include $2.5 million in prizes overall giving more incentive for the big-name stars to participate.

For context, $1 million is greater than the salary of six of the eight Home Run Derby contestants previous year.

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