New MLB Deal To Include $1M HR Derby Bonus, Single Trade Deadline

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

"Teams have the right to know what the rules are before they start making decisions regarding what their teams are going to look like", Halem said.

Major League Baseball on Thursday announced a series of new rule changes that might end up having a pretty profound impact on the sport moving forward, including a rule that will put even more emphasis on the July 31 trade deadline and All-Star voting. Also gone is all the confusion that often stemmed from the waiver trade rules.

OK, now that baseball is about to abolish August trades, raise your hand if you understood how teams made those infamous waiver deals of yesteryear.

That's a lot to keep track of. More importantly, it will afford MLB's top stars an opportunity to market themselves and let fans in on their personalities. The top three vote-getters will then be involved in a one-day election to determine who ultimately gets the honor. It's a recipe for fun. The victor of the Home Run Derby will receive $1 million. Starting in 2019, the prize for the content will be $1 million. While that's not earth-shattering money for some players, it's quite a bit for others, including people who could win it. Aaron Judge, for instance, will make $684,300 in 2019, so winning the derby is certainly in his best interest.

Major League Baseball and the Players Union are set to announces those changes as well as using a three-batter minimum for pitchers and new roster expansion set for the 2020 season, according to the report.

"It remains to be seen what the union's going to ask for, what we're going to ask for and whether we reach an agreement", deputy commissioner Dan Halem said.

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The 2020 season will feature changes to how many players can be on the active roster and a minimum on how many batters a pitcher must face before being removed from the game.

The active roster limit from Opening Day through August 31st and in Postseason games will increase from 25 to 26, and the minimum number of active players will increase from 24 to 25.

Teams must designate before each game whether a player will be used as a pitcher or position player before each game. This is another attempt to prevent the slowing of games with pitching changes during half innings. The joint announcement only says the MLBPA "will not grieve or otherwise challenge" the rule change in 2020.

Inning breaks for all games will now be two minutes, down from 2:05 for local game and 2:25 for national broadcasts. The mound-visit limit, a somewhat controversial addition previous year, will be reduced from six to five after a season where the new rule didn't prove to be much of an issue.

It's an exorbitantly layered conversation and one to which there's no clear and easy fix, so it's promising that the two sides have agreed to at least begin even preliminary discussions that could lead to a system which all parties find more palatable. The injured list, previously known as the disabled list, will go back to having a minimum time of 15 days.

Players have been furious at slow free-agent markets during the first two off-seasons of the five-year labour contract, set to expire December 1, 2021.

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