Off the field, the August waiver trade period will be scrapped this season, meaning players can only be traded up to the July 31 deadline.
One year removed from Major League Baseball implementing restrictions on the number of mound visits allowed per game, those are being reduced from six to five.
Extra innings in the All-Star Game will begin with a runner on second, perhaps a step toward introducing that for future regular seasons. During the "primary round" each club will nominate one player per eligible position (including three outfielders) who will be voted on by fans. "Per MLB, there will be a "'primary round" that mirrors the All-Star voting of old, followed in late June or early July by an "Election Day' in which the top three vote-getters at each position in each league during the primaries will be voted on by fans in a prescribed time period to determine the All-Star starters". Further details will be announced in April.
All-Star bonus payments will be given to the top three vote-getters at each position in each League during the Primary Round (top six for outfielders). Major League Baseball is hoping, in particular, this will lead to creative social media campaigns that foster interest in the players and the game.
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.
Major League Baseball and the Players Association will form a joint committee to consider other changes.
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Every player will have to be labeled as a position player or pitcher.
The MLB said in a statement it had negotiated the changes in conjunction with the MLB Players Association, subject to ratification from all 30 clubs.
The biggest change, however, is that all pitchers will be required to face at least three batters, with the goal of eliminating the excessive use of relief specialists. Pitchers who are sent to the minors must stay there 15 days instead of 10, the required stay past year.
The amount of pitchers allowed on a single roster will be capped, though the number has yet to be determined. After September 1, teams must carry 28 players; September call-ups are, by and large, done. That designation will remain in effect for the player, and can not change, for the remainder of the championship season and Postseason.
The new rules could also see a reduction in position players taking the mound as everyone will be designated as either a position player or a pitcher, with an exception made for anyone that throws 20-plus innings and starts 20 or more games at any position including DH.