Baseball reveals rule changes for 2019/2020

Heather Diaz
March 15, 2019

After nearly two years of acrimony, could Major League Baseball and its union be embarking on a new, healthier relationship?

Major League Baseball unveiled a sweeping range of rule changes due to be introduced over the next two years on Thursday, with several moves created to speed up play and boost entertainment.

These rules are likely connected to each other. This eliminates the craziness of September roster expansion to as many as 40 when teams often were playing with unequal amounts of players and the volume of relievers went up.

Teams will be limited to five mound visits per game, down from six last season.

All-Star game voting will see a significant overhaul with fan voting in two rounds.

The amount of pitchers allowed on a single roster will be capped, though the number has yet to be determined. Changes set to take place in 2020 include a three-batter minimum for pitchers; expanded rosters to 26 players; and a decreased September roster to 28 players.

Passan also reported commercial breaks will be shortened to 2 minutes for both local and national broadcasts in 2019 and could be shortened more in 2020.

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- The trade deadline is now July 31 - period.

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

~ A pitcher also must face a three-batter minimum in 2020. So does a contender with a sudden area of need call a non-contender after July 31 and tell the non-contender to put a player owed a good amount of money on waivers and the team will claim that player, removing the financial obligation from the non-contender?

As Passan details, the All-Star Game selection process will also be getting a facelift in 2019. During the "Primary Round", each team will nominate one player per eligible position (three outfielders), who will be voted on by fans. The rule was implemented unilaterally by the Office of the Commissioner.

The total prize money for the Home Run Derby will be increased to $2.5 million, with the victor receiving a $1 million bonus. The victor of the Home Run Derby will receive $1 million. Prize money for the players on the winning All-Star team will be increased in 2019.

Injured List and Option Period for Pitchers: Subject to input from the joint committee, the minimum placement period for pitchers on the Injured List shall increase from 10 days to 15 days, and the minimum assignment period of pitchers who are optionally assigned to the minors will increase from 10 days to 15 days.

All-Star bonus payments will be given to the top three vote-getters at each position in each League during the Primary Round (top six for outfielders).

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