Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper

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Who Wants To Be A Home Run Derby Millionaire?

In a change, the Derby winner will now receive $1 million.

Bruce Levine
March 14, 2019 - 2:41 pm
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MESA, Ariz. (670 The Score) -- Among the rules changes and adjustments that the MLB and the MLB Players' Association on Thursday agreed upon is a tweak to the Home Run Derby. 

The prize money for the event will be increased to $2.5 million, including $1 million for the winner. That's an increase from the $725,000 total previous agreed to for 2019, of which $150,000 had been set aside for the winner. The hope is to attract more star talent to join the festivities.

"The length of the rounds matter," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I think they have been reduced and less time might help the event. Shorten it up and, of course, it has been incentivized. Whenever you incentivize, it will be a little more attractive. Bully for them. I think you will definitely get more candidates."

Wear and tear for Derby contestants has been a concern in the past -- and also prevented some high-profile power hitters from entering the event in the first place. Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, who was the runner-up to Bryce Harper in the Derby last season, had some mixed feelings. He thought the injury risk would still be on the minds of some. 

"It will be good for the fans as well as the players," Schwarber said. "I think everyone will be more into it, but I can see the other side of guys not wanting to get hurt."

Schwarber admitted he was worn out after the Derby last season.

"After the first round, I was really tired," Schwarber said. "Heading into the last round, I was totally gassed. It was very tiring and a little sore the next day. You take the Gatorade from the kids that are running around with it. I am not discounting a million dollars at all. You go out there and win it and walk away with a million, it's a good deal."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.