Why Is Non-Waiver 2021 MLB Trade Deadline On July 30?
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Now past the All-Star Game and with the unofficial second half of the 2021 regular season beginning Thursday with one game before forging full steam ahead on Friday, the MLB trade deadline is the next date that will garner attention across the league.

The non-waiver trade deadline historically has been set for July 31 each season. However, there have been exceptions made in the past, and this year is one of them as the trade deadline has been moved up a day to 1 p.m. PT on Friday, July 30.

In 2016, the league pushed the trade deadline back to Aug. 1 in order to avoid business facing the buzzer on a Sunday afternoon. With the 2020 campaign delayed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the deadline wasn’t until Aug. 31.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the impetus for moving the trade deadline up one day earlier this season was to avoid potential scenarios of players being dealt during afternoon games:

This year’s trade deadline will be Friday, July 30, instead of Saturday, July 31, because the league preferred to avoid the deadline falling on a weekend, when a greater number of afternoon games are played.

The change is intended to be player-friendly; the league wanted to avoid players taking the field while rumors swirled, or being pulled off the field if they get traded in the middle of the game.

While MLB was cognizant of the schedule, only one game begins prior to 1 p.m. had the trade deadline been kept for July 31. Though, there are no such games at that time on the new July 30 date.

MLB may need to make an adjustment for the 2022 season, when July 31 lands on a Sunday once again. Of course, a new collective bargaining agreement could usher in broader change.

MLB trade deadline in August

Starting with the 2019 season, MLB eliminated August waiver trades, which prompted some general managers to begin supporting a non-waiver deadline being pushed back to Aug. 15. However, it didn’t appear to gain much support and there have not been indications MLB is considering such change.

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