MLB lifts restrictions on Arizona Fall League players

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is lifting restrictions on which players can be sent to the Arizona Fall League for prospects and moving up the season by nearly a month.

The commissioner’s office said Tuesday that a team can send any player to the AFL. Previously, a player had to be at Double-A or Triple-A by Aug. 1, with one player from a lower level allowed per organization. In addition, players with one year of major league service as of Aug. 31 were excluded, with the exception of one player per organization who had been selected in the most recent winter meeting draft of unprotected players. There also was a limit on foreign players.

This year’s season will run from mid-September through Oct. 27. Last year’s started Oct. 9 and ended Nov. 17.

Former Angels and Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi will oversee the fall league, which launched in 1992 and will play this year in Peoria, Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale.