CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Major League Baseball is pushing back this year’s deadline to make trades without waivers by one day to Aug. 1, wanting to avoid having players on the field during Sunday afternoon games as they are about to get dealt.
Teams usually remove players from starting lineups and in mid-game when trades near completion. The trade deadline is 4 p.m. EDT and July 31 falls on a Sunday this year, when there are six games starting just after 1 p.m. EDT, four more from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and another four from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m.
“A Sunday trade deadline, given the way we play games on Sunday, didn’t seem like it made the most sense, so we decided to move it the one day,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after owners approved the change at their quarterly meeting. “We don’t think it will be the end of modern civilization to do it one day later.”
Baseball’s trade deadline was June 15 from the 1923 season until it was moved to July 31 for 1986. Some have advocated it be pushed back significantly because of expanded playoffs, which keep more teams in contention later.
“I’m not sure that we’re looking to break any new ground on this one,” Manfred said. “We just thought that Sunday made no sense for us this year. Whether it’s the 31st or the 1st, I don’t see it as a huge issue.”