Major League Baseball players, owners to start labour talks two years early

MLB, MLBPA Agree To Single Trade Deadline, Changes To Roster Size

-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. In the case of mound visits, which were capped for the first time previous year at six, this will continue to force decisions about the wisdom of early-game trips to the mound.

All-Star Game fan voting will be conducted in two rounds.

For more info check out the Major League Baseball press release.

A single trade deadline, an All-Star game election day and a $1 million Home Run Derby prize will be introduced in 2019. This is another attempt to prevent the slowing of games with pitching changes during half innings. Fans will still be permitted to cast votes online, but the top three players at each position will then be included in a newly implemented All-Star "Election Day" which figures to provide new avenues to marketing the game's top talent both in mainstream media and via social media. The total prize money for the Home Run Derby will increase to $2.5 million and the victor will get $1 million.

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

If the All-Star Game goes to extra innings, each half inning will begin with a runner on second base.

The victor of the annual event will take home $1 million beginning this season.

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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 will be allowed to carry 27 players during a doubleheader.

September rosters of 40 active players will be gone, teams will only be able to carry 28 players. A committee between the sides that will study the game is expected to make recommendations on the maximum number of pitchers allowed on the rosters.

Also coming in 2020, each team's pitching staff on an active roster will be capped at a number that will be decided on by a committee of Major League Baseball and the players' association. Teams must designate each of its players as either a pitcher or a position player prior to each player's first day on the active roster for a given season. While a compromise could be reached in distributing more money to the younger players whom the current system underpays, the complications of doing so warrant a long runway for discussions.

The big issue is whether the agreement made official Thursday provides a first step toward improved cooperation between Major League Baseball and the Players Association that leads to remedies on financial matters particularly worrisome to the union and the extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The biggest change, however, is that all pitchers will be required to face at least three batters, with the goal of eliminating the excessive use of relief specialists. The Players Association has agreed that it will not grieve or otherwise challenge the Office of the Commissioner's implementation of the amended Rule 5.10 (g).

- Pitchers will have to serve a 15- rather than 10-day Injured List period as a way to try to further thwart roster manipulation.

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