Major League Baseball tweaks some rules now, more coming in '20

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

Inning breaks for all games will now be two minutes, down from 2:05 for local game and 2:25 for national broadcasts. The bargaining over distribution of revenue could be the most hard gap to bridge, with teams clearly paring back spending on aging players while players chafe at the notion that those 30 and older are no longer worthy of the deals they received in the past.

-Fan voting for the All-Star Game will be divided into two rounds, with the top three vote-getters advancing for all positions except the outfield, for which six will move on. The Home Run Derby winner's prize money will increase to $1 million with an eye on getting the best power bats - are you listening Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge? - not to skip the event. Additionally, the prize money awarded to players on the winning All-Star team will be increased beginning with the 2019 All-Star Game.

Major League Baseball and the Players Association will form a joint committee to consider other changes.

The single July 31 trade deadline means there will likely be a lot more action. The MLBPA didn't agree to the rule change, via reports, but the Commissioner's Office can implement it anyway next year.

All-Star bonus payments will be given to the top three vote getters at each position, including the top six outfielders.

The victor of the annual event will take home $1 million beginning this season. From that point on, rosters can expand to 28 players and 14 pitchers.

Major League Baseball is hoping a single deadline will help incentivize teams to be more aggressive in the offseason knowing that trades in August are no longer an option. The All-Star Game Election Day will be a chance for Major League Baseball to market its players. Teams will be allowed to carry 27 players during a doubleheader.

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-As part of the drop in the September roster limit, players may be optioned to a team's spring training facility from Sept. 1 on. All clubs will be required to carry 28 players on the active roster as of September 1.

-Pitchers must face at least three batters or end a half inning, unless they are injured.

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. Teams will be required to designate players as a pitcher or position player before each player's first day on the active roster.

Contending teams will not only have to consider big areas to fix in July, but if they are thin in even a supplementary area they might have to consider acquisitions.

- 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. As part of the recent agreement, both the league and the Union have already agreed to "imminently" begin discussing the labor issues that have been thrust to the forefront of the industry despite the fact that the current collective bargaining agreement doesn't expire until 2021.

- 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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