Major League Baseball and the Players Association have announced a series of rule changes that will take effect over the next two seasons, including a single trade deadline and a million dollar bonus for winning the Home Run Derby.
The biggest change in 2019 will be the move to a single trade deadline, which will be on July 31. Previously, teams were able to acquire players that pass through waivers beyond that date and have them playoff eligible, as long as they were on the roster before the first day of September.
Also in 2019, the Home Run Derby will come with $2.5 million in prize money, including a $1 million bounty for the winner.
Teams will be limited to five mound visits per game, down from six last season.
For the 2020 season, the league and association will introduce a three-batter minimum for pitchers, which will eliminate single matchup moves. Currently, a pitcher is forced to face only one hitter when they enter the game. Another change will see regular season rosters expand from 25 to 26 players, with the September maximum of 40 reduced to 28.
The new rules could also see a reduction in position players taking the mound as everyone will be designated as either a position player or a pitcher, with an exception made for anyone that throws 20-plus innings and starts 20 or more games at any position including DH.
Position players will be limited to only pitching in extra innings or when their team is either ahead or behind by seven runs.
The sides will also immediately begin discussing labour issues such as revenue, service time manipulation and the luxury tax. The current CBA is set to expire at the end of 2021.