The 2020 season will feature changes to how many players can be on the active roster and a minimum on how many batters a pitcher must face before being removed from the game.
Mound visits per team will be reduced from six to five.
All-Star Game: Another previously reported wrinkle, All-Star Game fan voting will now be done in two rounds. Players such as Adam Jones (via USA Today's Bob Nightengale), Matt Wieters (via MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch) and Brad Brach (via The Athletic's Patrick Mooney) are among the many who've been open about frustrating forays into the open market.
Trade Deadline: The trade deadline will remain July 31st; however, trade waivers will be eliminated. The top three voter-getters at each position will receive bonuses of $2,500 to $15,000, which will not count against a team's luxury-tax payroll. This is another attempt to prevent the slowing of games with pitching changes during half innings. An "Election Day" will then occur with the top three vote-getters at each position (nine for outfielders) from each League where fans vote on the All-Star Game starters.
Big changes are coming to Major League Baseball, and this season will be just the beginning. 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. Players who have already been taken out of the game will be allowed to run.
-As part of the drop in the September roster limit, players may be optioned to a team's spring training facility from Sept. 1 on.
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). A joint committee will determine the limit of pitchers, and if there is no agreement the limit will be 13 (14 from September 1 through the end of the regular season). 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. The 2020 season will then bring a new roster structure created to give more players a chance to shine, while lessening wear and tear on others.
- Following the ninth inning of an extra-inning game or in a game in which his team is losing or winning by more than six runs when the player enters as a pitcher.
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).
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 disabled list for pitchers has been increased from 10 to 15 days.