Major League Baseball players, owners to start labour talks two years early

Though the consequences of the single trade deadline are unknown, the impact of an election day is clear: Major League Baseball gives itself a much-needed opportunity to market its players.

Baseball is expected to make the official announcement regarding the rule changes on Thursday. Last year, Josh Donaldson, Daniel Murphy, Andrew McCutchen, David Freese, Gio Gonzalez, Fernando Rodney, Mike Fiers, Justin Bour and Ryan Madson were among the notable players traded after July 31 after passing through waivers.

Passan also reported commercial breaks will be shortened to 2 minutes for both local and national broadcasts in 2019 and could be shortened more in 2020.

And then in late June or early July there will be an "Election Day" for fans to vote on the finalist over a certain time period to choose who starts in the All-Star Game. Management and the union agreed to discuss a renegotiation and extension of the current deal, set to expire on December 1, 2021.

Additionally, changes were announced for All-Star game voting, rules, and compensation, beginning this season.

All-Star fan voting will now be conducted in two rounds, with teams nominating one player per position in the first round (three outfielders per team). The MLBPA hopes this forces teams to be more aggressive in the offseason, instead of waiting until the summer to make moves.

The number of position players pitching could see a significant decrease as well. The roster size will increase to 26, but the 40-man roster in September will be limited to 28. Teams will still have the option to place players on waivers (and they can be claimed) after that date, but they will no longer be eligible to be traded.

- Each team will start the 10th inning with a runner on second in the All-Star Game and spring training games.

The creation of a joint committee, which consists of Major League Baseball committee members and MLBPA committee members.

A revamped All-Star Game would also go into effect, with the victor of the traditional Home Run Derby getting a $1 million jackpot. The current Major League Rules allowing for a 26th player for doubleheaders will be amended to allow for a 27th player.

Extra innings in the All-Star Game will begin with a runner on second, perhaps a step toward introducing that for future regular seasons.

It does seem like the September roster decrease is a little pointless with the three batter rule for pitchers but that's its own debate.

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.

The minimum stay on the Injured List will be increased from 10 to 15 days and the minimum assignment period of pitchers to the minor league will also increase from 10 to 15 days.

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the US and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball.

Vanessa Coleman

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