The MLB and the MLB Players Association announced an agreement on Thursday that includes changes to the rosters, game play and the All-Star voting process over the next two years.
In 2019, the changes include:
- The elimination of August trades, meaning July 31 will be sole MLB trade deadline.
- The maximum number of mound visits per team will be reduced from six to five.
- Fans will vote online for All-Star starters, and the top three vote-getters for each position will participate in an election day.
- The Home Run Derby will include a $2.5 million prize pool, with the winner receiving $1 million.
- Should the All-Star Game go extra innings, both teams will begin the inning with a runner on second base.
In 2020, there will be more changes:
- Regular-season rosters will expand from 25 players to 26. Teams will be allowed a 27th man for doubleheaders. Rosters will expand to 28 players in September.
- A joint committee will determine a limit on pitchers on an active roster. There is a proposal that the maximum number of pitchers a team can carry would be 13 with a 26-player roster and 14 with a 28-player roster.
- A three-batter minimum for pitchers unless the pitcher ends an inning.
- The injured list will go back to 15 days after it had been reduced to 10 days in 2017.
The deal also includes a provision that the two sides would discuss labor issues immediately even though the current collective bargaining agreement doesn't expire until 2021, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
CBA discussions would include free agency, revenue distribution, service time manipulation and the luxury tax threshold, according to Passan.
"The start of a long process," Yankees reliever Zack Britton said,, according to the New York Times' James Wagner. "It's good to get some smaller things out of the way to then focus on some bigger issues."
As discussions continue, the two sides will also discuss a pitch clock implementation, a universal designated hitter, banning shifts and competitive balance, according to Passan.