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

Feb 17 2019 West Palm Beach FL USA MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. Mandatory Credit Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

-The active roster limit will increase by one to 26 from opening day through August 31 and will drop from 40 to 28 through the end of the regular season.

Mound Visits: The maximum number of mound visits per team will be reduced from six to five.

All-Star Game: Another previously reported wrinkle, All-Star Game fan voting will now be done in two rounds. More importantly, it will afford MLB's top stars an opportunity to market themselves and let fans in on their personalities.

-Trade waivers will be eliminated, meaning no player can be traded after July 31 through the end of the regular season. This is another attempt to prevent the slowing of games with pitching changes during half innings.

Though the current Major League Baseball collective bargaining agreement doesn't expire until 2021, the two sides have also agreed to start having conversations as soon as possible in efforts to avoid any sort of future strike, and will touch on some of the games most "fundamental" economic issues.

Major League Baseball and the Players Association have introduced several big changes in the game that will be implemented for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

- A joint management-union committee will study effects of potential changes to the strike zone, the height of the mound and the distance from the mound to the plate.

The Home Run Derby will have $2.5 million in prize money, with a cool million dollars going to the victor.

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- Each team will start the 10th inning with a runner on second in the All-Star Game and spring training games.

Major League Baseball is hoping to bring more of its top talent into the annual Home Run Derby by raising the stakes. Players who have already been taken out of the game will be allowed to run.

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. The roster size will increase to 26, but the 40-man roster in September will be limited to 28. Teams will be allowed to carry 27 players during a doubleheader. All clubs will be required to carry 28 players on the active roster as of September 1. First, the "Primary Round" will have the team nominate one player per eligible position. That designation will remain in effect for the player, and can not change, for the remainder of the championship season and Postseason.

Starting and relief pitchers must pitch to either a minimum of three batters or at the end of half inning.

Teams must designate before each game whether a player will be used as a pitcher or position player before each game.

As part of the agreement, MLB and the MLBPA will also begin discussions regarding the league's growing labor issues, with an eye toward finding common ground ahead of the current collective bargaining agreement's December 2021 expiration.

Injured List and Option Period for Pitchers: Subject to input from the joint committee, the minimum placement period for pitchers on the Injured List shall increase from 10 days to 15 days, and the minimum assignment period of pitchers who are optionally assigned to the minors will increase from 10 days to 15 days.

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