Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Sports | By Juana Wells

How today's new Major League Baseball rule changes could affect the Tigers

How today's new Major League Baseball rule changes could affect the Tigers

Big changes are coming to Major League Baseball, and this season will be just the beginning.

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

A single trade deadline, an All-Star Game election day and a million-dollar bonus for the Home Run Derby victor will be implemented in 2019 - and a three-batter minimum for pitchers and roster expansion will happen in 2020 - as part of a deal between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association.

Baseball hopes to speed up the game, so breaks between innings will be reduced from 2:05 to 2:00 in local games, and from 2:25 to 2:00 in national games. Though, all suggested timings are subject to discussions with broadcast partners.

The maximum number of mound visits allowed to each team has been reduced to five, from six. In a few months, you'll carve out three hours for a game that will be decided by these rule changes, if only indirectly. An "Election Day" will then occur with the top three vote-getters at each position (nine for outfielders) from each League where fans vote on the All-Star Game starters. Further details will be announced in April. Fans will vote online for All-Star starters, and the top three vote-getters will take part in a one-day election.

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 both instances, the breaks will be 2 minutes. 40 players was too many to allow but a number in the 30-32 range would've been better.

In the new MLB-MLBPA deal, the victor of the Home Run Derby will receive $1 million, as part of a $2.5 million purse to be split among competitors.

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

The amount of days pitchers must spend on the Injured List increases from 10 for 15 days as does the minimum assignment period of pitchers optioned to the minors.

It does seem like the September roster decrease is a little pointless with the three batter rule for pitchers but that's its own debate. Clubs must designate each player on the roster as a pitcher or position player prior to said player's first day on active roster. Exceptions will be made for an incapacitating injury or illness.

The injured list, previously known as the disabled list, will go back to having a minimum time of 15 days. Rosters will increase from 25 to 26 players and there will be a maximum number of pitchers allowed.

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.

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