This year’s trade deadline will be August 1, reports Jim Bowden of the Athletic (Twitter link). That’s a day earlier than last year’s iteration.
One of the new features of the collective bargaining agreement was a “floating” trade deadline. While the deadline had previously typically been on July 31 annually, the new CBA affords the league office more flexibility in scheduling. The commissioner can now choose to set the deadline date any time between July 28 and August 3.
MLB’s primary consideration has been to ensure the deadline falls on a weekday. The league isn’t keen on a weekend deadline, which could result in a number of trades coinciding with ongoing games due to the league’s tendency to schedule a number of early games on weekends. Last year’s deadline fell on a Tuesday at 6:00 pm EST, with all trades finalized and announced before that night’s play kicked off at 7:00.
According to Bowden, the league will stick with the first Tuesday in August (this time falling on the 1st of the month) for the cutoff. The time of day isn’t clear, though it wouldn’t be a surprise if the league sticks with 6:00 pm EST for a second consecutive year.