2020 Rule Changes

After the proposal process, internal discussion between Justin and myself, along with the opinion gathering of those in the league, the following rule changes will be taking place without any type of vote. These proposals were given to the league office with a clear point in mind of, are easy enough to implement, and add realism to the league. If any rule ends up not living up to its desire intent, I will be happy to listen to opinions on these next off-season and we can revisit them.


  1. Following the amateur draft, players cannot be traded until the first off-season following the draft.
    • IE: Someone drafted in the June draft of 2019 cannot be included in a trade until the completion of the 2019 World Series.
  2. MLB Pro will implementing a new Free-Agent compensation system that more closely reflects a simplified version of the recent MLB CBA changes.
    • The system can be viewed here.
      • Why $45 million and not $50 million? Our QO is slightly less than the most recent MLB QO level. As such, it was adjusted to reflect this difference.
    • This system will begin to be used in November of 2020.
  3. The following changes are being made to vesting options:
    • For hitters:
      • Games played will be lowered from 100 to 80.
      • Plate appearances will be allowed, with a maximum of 250.
    • For pitchers:
      • Innings limit for starting pitchers will be lowered from a maximum of 150 to a maximum of 120 innings.
    • All previously signed contracts will be grandfathered in.
  4. The following changes are being made to contract option years:
    • Contracts of three-years or less of length will be limited to no more than 1 option (Team, Player, Vesting) OR opt-out.
    • Contracts of four-years and five-years in length will be limited to no more than a combination of 2 options or opt-out years. (Example: Opt Out Y2 / Option Y4 or Option Y3 / Option Y4)
    • Contracts of at least six-years in length may include up to 2 option years (Player/Team/Vesting) AND one player opt-out years.
  5. The following update is being made to the rule regarding the trading of players who have recently signed an extension during the offseason:
    1. A player who is arbitration eligible who signs a one-year extension between the start of the offseason and day of arbitration hearings, may be traded immediately. This one-year extension is being viewed as an arbitration settlement thus making the player eligible to be traded.
  6. Teams will not be able to acquire salary via a trade that pushes them beyond $10M over budget at any given point in time.
    1. Budget is defined by the trade screen. For an individual GM to check it would be the finance tab’s “Total Money Available” — a reminder that salaries are prorated during the season.
    2. This amount will be revisited in the 2020 off-season to determine the effectiveness of the rule and the amount that has been set.

The final thing I want to touch on here is the International Free-Agency System.

The League Office and advisors attempted to create a system that would better mimic real-life.

After much discussion and work, the following was nearly implemented, but after final discussions amongst the League Office, it was determined we are not yet ready to implement.

I am not ready to say this has no chance of coming in 2020, it’s just not there yet. If anyone who has not been involved in the process would like to express thoughts, opinions, ideas on the matter, please let Matt know via PM.