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Baseball reveals rule changes for 2019/2020

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Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks during a news conference at MLB headquarters in New York on Nov. 27 2018

Off the field, the August waiver trade period will be scrapped this season, meaning players can only be traded up to the July 31 deadline.

In 2019, the sport will operate with July 31 as its lone trade deadline.

Though the consequences of the single trade deadline are unknown, the impact of an election day is clear: Major League Baseball gives itself a much-needed opportunity to market its players.

Major League Baseball will implement several significant changes in 2019 and 2020.

The MLBPA, player representatives and players themselves have become increasingly frustrated with the current state of free agency, lamenting the stagnant market (particularly for second- and third-tier free agents).

In the case of mound visits, which were capped for the first time past year at six, this will continue to force decisions about the wisdom of early-game trips to the mound. One notable change will be giving out cash prizes to Home Run Derby participants. 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. 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.

For local broadcasts, the inning break will be cut by 5 seconds, while breaks in national games will be trimmed by 25 seconds.

For those participating in the Home Run Derby, player prize money was increased to $2.5 million.

I wonder if we will see more trades for minor leaguers - even veteran minor leaguers not on 40-man rosters - as a way to create organizational depth in case injury strikes in August. Rosters will increase from 25 to 26 players and there will be a maximum number of pitchers allowed.

For the 2020 season, the league and association will introduce a three-batter minimum for pitchers, which will eliminate single matchup moves.

The rule is meant to curb the rise of position players pitching-often to horrendous results-that spiked previous year.

The changes for the 2019 season won't be as drastic. 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. The rule was implemented unilaterally by the Office of the Commissioner.

The disabled list for pitchers has been increased from 10 to 15 days.

For more info check out the Major League Baseball press release. 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.

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