Baseball's heaviest hitters will have a good reason to participate in the Home Run Derby: Money. A lot of it.
The winner of the annual event will take home $1 million beginning this season. It's a big step up from past years, as an Athletic story published in July 2017 detailed no financial incentives for Derby participants, though benefits included a $1,000 stipend.
The new rule is part of a package of changes announced by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association on Thursday.
Arguably most importantly, the MLB and the PA will begin discussing labor issues far before the current collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021, according to the agreement.
Baseball's economics are clearly an issue - as the last two offseasons proved - and the coming campaign will begin with some of the sport's top young players in the minor leagues, with their service time being manipulated in order to delay their eventual free agency. That topic, along with revenue distribution and luxury tax, will also be discussed by the two parties, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.