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MLB increases All-Star bonuses, proposes changes for regular season

Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper celebrates winning the 2018 MLB home run derby at Nationals Ballpark. Brad Mills / USA TODAY Sports

The winner of the 2019 Home Run Derby will earn a $1 million bonus, and there is a boost coming for this year's All-Star selections, MLB announced in a rules update for the upcoming season.

The proposed changes must be ratified by baseball's 30 owners to become official.

The total prize pool for the 2019 Home Run Derby, which takes place the night before the All-Star Game, is up to $2.5 million. The winner will claim $1 million. Whether the increase is enough incentive to keep stars interested in the swing-a-thon is unclear.

For example, new Phillies slugger Bryce Harper took part in the event when it was held in his home park with the Nationals, but his new contract pays him the equivalent of $50,000 per plate appearance.

This year's All-Star Game is scheduled for July 9 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Leading vote-getters for the Midsummer Classic can cash in, too, with MLB promising bonuses to the top three vote-getters at each position -- six total outfielders -- in each league. The prize pool for the winning team will also be increased.

Voting for the game will be converted to a two-round process. An "Election Day" to be announced at a later date -- late June or early July, according to MLB -- will be held during which voters will choose the starters by voting during a set time period for their pick among the top three at every position (nine outfielders make the cutoff).

Additionally, if the All-Star Game hits extra innings, both teams will start the 10th with a runner on second base.

In-season, MLB and MLBPA proposed the following changes:

  • Inning breaks: Subject to discussions with broadcast partners, inning breaks will be reduced from 2:05 to 2:00 in local games, and from 2:25 to 2:00 in national games. (The Office of the Commissioner retains the right to reduce the inning breaks to 1:55 in local and national games for the 2020 season.)
  • Mound visits: The maximum number of mound visits per team will be reduced from six to five.
  • Trade deadline: The trade deadline will remain July 31st; however, trade waivers will be eliminated. Players may be placed and claimed on outright waivers after July 31st, but players may not be traded after that date.