It’s done, and an official announcement is expected as soon as later today. MLB’s rules are about to undergo the most significant set of changes we’ve seen in the last couple decades.
- Roster increase from 25 to 26 (2020)
- September rosters decrease from 40 to 28 (2020)
- Pitchers must face a minimum of three batters (2020)
- Removal of the waiver trade deadline, leaving only one single trade deadline at the end of July (2019)
- All-Star Election Day implemented (2019)
- Bonus for winning the Home Run Derby (2019)
- Limitations on position players pitching (2020)
- All inning breaks down to 2 minutes (2019)
- Reduced mound visits (2019)
- Injured List stint for pitchers increased to 15 days (2020)
- Minimum option time for pitchers increased to 15 days (2020)
Although it is not a rules change, one of the most significant developments is the willingness by the league and the players to begin negotiating fundamental economic aspects of the sport immediately, rather than waiting for the current CBA to expire in 2021:
The long-awaited MLB/MLBPA deal is done, sources tell ESPN, and includes a single trade deadline, an All-Star Game Election Day, expanded rosters in 2020 and, most important, a pledge to start bargaining over fundamental economic issues. News @ESPN: https://t.co/b7yvvVdxMd
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 14, 2019
It seems all sides could see, just as we could see, that a strike was something of an inevitability if there weren’t massive changes to the structure of the financial side of the game. If they waited until 2021 to address these things – after two more years of increasingly public acrimony – who knows just how bad things could have gotten. I’m very, very heartened to see that these discussions will take place immediately.