Sports

Major League Baseball tweaks some rules now, more coming in '20

Major League Baseball tweaks some rules now, more coming in '20

Players may still be placed on outright waivers and claimed by other teams after July 31, but cannot be traded.

Most notably, the league is eliminating the waiver trade deadline on August 31st, making July 31st the one and only trade deadline for the season.

Major League Baseball had the same ability to put a pitch clock in place this season but tabled it as part of the deal, with the hope that fewer pitching changes - and shorter inning breaks, which are now down to two minutes for local and national games, per the deal - will speed up games. Though, all suggested timings are subject to discussions with broadcast partners.

The 2020 provisions are likely to have a far greater impact on the field.

Meanwhile the number of mound visits would also be reduced from six to five per game this season.

All-Star game voting will see a significant overhaul with fan voting in two rounds. "Per MLB, there will be a "'primary round" that mirrors the All-Star voting of old, followed in late June or early July by an "Election Day' in which the top three vote-getters at each position in each league during the primaries will be voted on by fans in a prescribed time period to determine the All-Star starters". Starters for the Midsummer Classic will be chosen in a one-day "Election Day" by fans who will choose among three finalists at each position. The minimum number of active players will increase from 24 to 25.

Furthermore, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred reserves the right to reduce inning breaks to 1:55 for both local and national games for the 2020 season. Players who have already been taken out of the game will be allowed to run.

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The Home Run Derby winner's prize money will increase to $1 million with an eye on getting the best power bats - are you listening Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge? - not to skip the event.

Joint Committee: MLB and the MLBPA will form a joint committee to study other potential changes.

The rule is meant to curb the rise of position players pitching-often to horrendous results-that spiked past year. Clubs can add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

The agreement will also limit September call-ups to 28, instead of the current maximum of 40 allowed under the current policy. All clubs will be required to carry 28 players on the active roster as of September 1. Exceptions will be made for an incapacitating injury or illness.

For pitchers, the minimum placement period on the injured list will increase from 10 to 15 days. Pitchers who are sent to the minors must stay there 15 days instead of 10, the required stay previous year.

The number of pitchers on the active roster will be determined by a joint committee of Major League Baseball and the MLBPA.