Baseball's trade season received a major facelift.
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association agreed to eliminate the August waiver trade period in favor of a single non-waiver trade deadline day for all transactions on July 31. The deadline-day change, one of several rule changes ratified by both the league and union after extensive negotiations this spring, will take effect this season.
It was the players' association that proposed unifying the separate deadline days, in part to "protect the competitive integrity of the" season.
Under MLB's current trade rules, any players involved in a trade during the month of August must first clear revocable trade waivers, a lengthy process that is regulated by a convoluted set of rules. Many notable players have been dealt after passing through August waivers, including Justin Verlander in 2017.
By consolidating the deadlines, teams would no longer be able to make additional tweaks ahead of the September pennant race. The single deadline would effectively force teams to decide whether to buy or sell earlier, ideally spurring even more action on what is already a frantic July 31 deadline day.