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

Included among baseball's many new rules for 2019 and 2020 will be the elimination of the Aug. 31st waiver deadline

Per the agreement, rosters will expand from 25 to 26 players, with a maximum of 13 pitchers allowed, from opening day until September 1. In the case of mound visits, which were capped for the first time a year ago at six, this will continue to force decisions about the wisdom of early-game trips to the mound.

All-Star game voting will see a significant overhaul with fan voting in two rounds. Players such as Adam Jones (via USA Today's Bob Nightengale), Matt Wieters (via's Jenifer Langosch) and Brad Brach (via The Athletic's Patrick Mooney) are among the many who've been open about frustrating forays into the open market.

The precise manner in which the singular trade deadline will impact action on the summer trade market won't be known for certain until we have multiple seasons of data, but from a distance it figures to heighten July trade activity. Fans would vote online for All-Star starters, and the top three vote-getters will take part in a one-day election. This is another attempt to prevent the slowing of games with pitching changes during half innings.

Nevertheless, the agreement jointly announced by the sides Thursday promises dramatic alterations to the game when implemented in 2019 and '20.

- A joint management-union committee will study effects of potential changes to the strike zone, the height of the mound and the distance from the mound to the plate.

The victor of the Home Run Derby will now receive $1 million and total prize pool money for the competition increases to $2.5 million.

Extra innings in the All-Star Game will begin with a runner on second, perhaps a step toward introducing that for future regular seasons. The MLBPA is hopeful that the single deadline will also incentivize teams to be more aggressive in the offseason knowing that trades in August are no longer an option.

Major League Baseball is hoping to bring more of its top talent into the annual Home Run Derby by raising the stakes.

The 40-man roster limit in September has been eliminated. The current Major League Rules allowing for a 26th player for doubleheaders will be amended to allow for a 27th player. The player would continue to get major league service if he had been on the roster continuously since June 1 and losing the service time would deprive him of salary arbitration or free agent eligibility that off-season, but those with split contracts would not receive major league salary. First, the "Primary Round" will have the team nominate one player per eligible position.

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.

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.

-Pitchers must face at least three batters or end a half inning, unless they are injured. MLB's current collective bargaining agreement with the MLBPA expires on December 1, 2021. 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).

The amount of days pitchers must spend on the Injured List increases from 10 for 15 days as does the minimum assignment period of pitchers optioned to the minors.



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