Image via Chicago Tribune
Thursday, March 14, 2019, may end up becoming a huge day in Major League Baseball history as the MLB and the MLB Players Association announced some major rule changes that may take place in the 2019 and 2020 MLB seasons.
The changes are being made to shorten the overall game length. In 2019, mound visits will be dropped from six to five per team, and the time between innings will be shortened from 2:05 minutes to 2:00 minutes.
Also, many roster move options will be altered. There will now only be a single trade-deadline on July 31st, eliminating the second deadline on August 31 which required players to first go through waivers.
On some better news for baseball fans, in 2019, the Home Run Derby will feature a $1 million reward prize for the first place winner, with $2.5 million going out to top placers in total. This should spark more interest and provide more incentive for players to participate in the derby. Also, there will be changes to the All-Star game regarding its voting and prizes along with extra inning rules.
A three-batter minimum and roster expansion to 26 are happening in 2020 while a single trade deadline and All-Star Game Election Day are joining the $1M Home Run Derby winner’s bonus in 2019, sources tell ESPN. News on the MLB/MLBPA deal coming Thursday: https://t.co/b7yvvVdxMd
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 14, 2019
For 2020, there have been additional proposed changes that may occur, which are the ones that can affect the game as a whole much more.
The active roster for the regular season will now feature an extra player, making 26 in total, and on September 1st, teams will be able to add another two players onto the roster, making 28 in total for the playoff runs. This is a big change as the previous total teams could have after September 1st was 40, and was an opportunity teams took to call up top prospects in their farm system to get them major league experience without weakening their major league roster. There will also be a new limit on the number of pitchers teams can have on their rosters and the minimum amount of days pitchers must remain on the injured list.
Another controversial requirement that may be added in 2020 is that newly entered pitchers must face at least three batters. Now, this rule will have some exceptions such as injuries and the end of innings but never the less, this will change the current game of baseball drastically as it basically eliminates some of the strategy managers use with their bullpen.
Whether or not we agree with the rule changes or whatever our opinions may be, the MLB seems to be set on changing the game and we must be ready to embrace a new age of baseball.
The official announcement can be seen below
MLB, MLBPA ANNOUNCE ON-FIELD AGREEMENT
— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) March 14, 2019