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

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In the past, players could be dealt afterward as they were threaded through the waiver wire. In late June or early July, an "Election Day" will be held in which the top three vote-getters at each position in each League during the Primary Round (including the top nine outfielders) will be voted on by fans during a prescribed time period to determine the All-Star Game starters. The Home Run Derby winner's prize money will increase to $1 million with an eye on getting the best power bats - are you listening Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge? - not to skip the event.

- 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.

Trade Deadline: The trade deadline will remain July 31st; however, trade waivers will be eliminated. This year will also see a change in voting for the All-Star Game.

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

Major League Baseball is hoping to bring more of its top talent into the annual Home Run Derby by raising the stakes.

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).

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As per usual, fans will be allowed to vote for the All-Star game starters online. Major League Baseball is hoping, in particular, this will lead to creative social media campaigns that foster interest in the players and the game. Clubs can add a 27th player for doubleheaders. From September 1st through the end of the championship season, all Clubs must carry 28 players on the active roster.

There will be a cap on the number of pitchers that teams are allowed to carry on the active roster, that will be determined by the joint committee. First, the "Primary Round" will have the team nominate one player per eligible position.

Contending teams will not only have to consider big areas to fix in July, but if they are thin in even a supplementary area they might have to consider acquisitions.

Players designated as a "Two-Way Player".

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

Minimum Number of Batters for Pitchers: The Office of the Commissioner will implement an amended Official Baseball Rule 5.10 (g) requiring that starting pitchers and relief pitchers must pitch to either a minimum of three batters or the end of a half-inning (with exceptions for incapacitating injury or illness). These cuts will be subject to discussions with MLB's broadcast partners. And the other change there in 2020 is that it will be a 15-day injured list and not a 10-day injured list. As part of the recent agreement, both the league and the Union have already agreed to "imminently" begin discussing the labor issues that have been thrust to the forefront of the industry despite the fact that the current collective bargaining agreement doesn't expire until 2021.

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