Major League Baseball announces rule changes involving pitcher usage, roster limits, inning breaks

MLB baseball

Major League Baseball announces rule changes involving pitcher usage, roster limits, inning breaks

After nearly two years of acrimony, could Major League Baseball and its union be embarking on a new, healthier relationship?

The MLB and MLBPA have announced their on-field agreement and released the series of changes coming to the league over the next two seasons.

Some of the most significant changes announced Thursday will take effect in 2020.

Except there are several new rule changes, and they'll all affect the Giants. But over the long-term, the league and union are likely to work together to eliminate the built-in incentives that cause teams to do what the Tigers are doing now: Rebuilding.

Players will be able to be listed as a Two-Way Player if they have accrued at least 20 Major League Innings pitched as well as 20 Major League Games started as a position player or DH.

Teams will be limited to five mound visits per game, down from six last season.

The All-Star Game starting line-ups would also be determined by fan voting.

The number of pitchers allowed on a roster will also be capped at a number still to be determined by joint committee formed by Major League Baseball and the MLBPA.

The length of inning breaks would be cut from 2min 5sec to 2min in local games while national game breaks will be reduced by 25 seconds.

Trade deadline: As had been already reported, the August waiver trading period is gone.

Minimum number of batters faced for pitchers will be set to three, or the pitcher must throw until the end of the half-inning (with exception for illness/injury).

Meanwhile, the annual MLB All-Star Game will now have voting conducted over two rounds. 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. Clubs 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. 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).

The victor of the Home Run Derby will now receive $1 million and total prize pool money for the competition increases to $2.5 million. Prize money for the players on the winning All-Star team will be increased in 2019.

The minimum period a pitcher can be placed on the injury list extends from 10 days to 15. The derby will include $2.5 million in prizes overall giving more incentive for the big-name stars to participate.

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