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All-Star Game changes come with new MLB CBA

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Roster rules, bonus for winning, and no more World Series home field advantage

MLB: All Star Game Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — Should the Dodgers break their World Series drought in 2017, manager Dave Roberts won’t have the chance to stock the 2018 National League All-Star roster with his players. That is one of several changes made to the midsummer classic in baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement.

The big change is no longer tying the All-Star Game to home field advantage in the World Series, which we covered before. But there are a few other new wrinkles in the CBA.

The new incentive to win the All-Star Game comes in the form of a $20,000 bonus for every player on the winning team. But these players make millions, you might say and reasonably so. But that $20,000 is up from zero, and is less important for the amount of the bonus than how it stokes the flames of competitiveness among the players.

The rosters for each All-Star team will include 32 players — 20 position players and 12 pitchers — which is down from the current 34. But the big change in this area is that the All-Star managers are no longer responsible for filling out the final spots on each roster.

Instead, that will now be handled by the commissioner’s office directly. The league office will select seven players (including four pitchers) for the National League and five players (including four pitchers) for the American League. The full details will be revealed once the full CBA is out, but this suggests the rest will remain the same:

  • Fans vote for 8 starters in the NL, and 9 in the AL (including a designated hitter).
  • Players vote for 8 position players in the NL and 9 in the AL, and stock each team with 5 starting pitchers and 3 relievers.
  • The Final Vote fills the final roster spot in each league.

The Home Run Derby will continue in the same bracketed, timed format that has been fun to watch the last two years, and prize money will increase throughout this CBA.

Now the question is, just when might Dodger Stadium host another All-Star Game? The midsummer classic hasn’t come to Los Angeles since 1980.

The next two All-Star Games will be held in Miami (2017) and Washington D.C. (2018), which will make four straight years in National League stadiums. So, 2020 might be the earliest year for another All-Star Game in a National League park. While the Dodgers might be the next NL team up, so to speak, there are other potential candidates in Philadelphia, which has not hosted an All-Star Game in Citizens Bank Park, which opened in 2004, or Atlanta, which moves into brand new Sun Trust Park in 2017.