Baseball's best hitters may have a good reason to participate in the annual Home Run Derby: Money. A lot of it.
The winner of the All-Star Game showcase is set to take home $1 million beginning this season, as part of a package of proposed changes set to be announced by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association on Thursday, reports ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Picture this: Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge, J.D. Martinez, Giancarlo Stanton, and Mike Trout, among others, all in the Derby, hitting bombs for a million bucks. It's possible.
An Athletic story published in July 2017 detailed no financial incentives for Derby participants, though benefits included a $1,000 stipend, and more.
News dropped Wednesday that MLB was moving to a single July 31 trade deadline, and Passan has more on the rest of the deal, which will include:
- All-Star Game Election Day
- Three-batter minimums for pitchers in 2020
- Expanded rosters from 25 to 26 in 2020
Arguably most importantly, Passan adds, is the fact MLB and the PA will begin discussing labor issues in the very near feature, far in advance of the current collective bargaining agreement's Dec. 2021 expiry.
Baseball's economics are clearly an issue, as the last two offseasons proved, and the coming season will begin with some of the sport's top young players in the minor leagues, their service time being manipulated in order to delay their eventual free agency.
Revenue distribution and luxury tax will also be discussed. There's a lot to talk about, in other words, and both sides appear to recognize that.
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