MLB, MLBPA Announce 2019 Rule Changes Including Single Trade Deadline

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2019

File-This Feb. 8, 2019, file photo shows Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, speaking during a news conference at owners meetings in Orlando, Fla. Major League Baseball and the players' union are near an agreement to expand active rosters by one to 26 starting in 2020 as part of a deal that would include a commitment to discuss larger economic issues after opening day.  (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Major League Baseball and the league's Players' Association have announced several notable changes for both the 2019 and 2020 season.

According to an official release, changes for the upcoming season will include speeding up the game by limiting mound visits (dropping from six per team to five) and shortening the time between innings (down from 2:05 to 2:00 for local games).

There will only be one trade deadline on July 31, eliminating the Aug. 31 deadline that featured players going through waivers. The winner of the Home Run Derby will also now earn a $1 million bonus, potentially creating more interest in the event.

The shortened inning breaks could be the start of more changes, as Jeff Passan of ESPN noted:

Meanwhile, the changes coming in 2020 could make a larger impact on the sport.

Teams will get an extra player on the active roster for most of the season, bringing the total to 26. Beginning on Sept. 1, teams will get up to 28 players on the roster, which is down from 40 in previous years.

There will also be a limit on the number of pitchers each team can carry on the active roster.

Additionally, there could be a three-batter minimum for each pitcher, effectively preventing specialists who face one batter at a time.

This could be a significant change based on recent usage, via Sarah Langs of MLB:

However, this was not agreed to by the MLBPA, per Jayson Stark of The Athletic:

This could potentially be another way to speed up the games, limiting innings with multiple pitching changes.

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