Adding Players to MLB Reserve List

Only players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) can be placed on an MLB Active List (25-man roster).

A free-agent with prior MLB and/or minor league service who signs a Major League contract must be added to his club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) when he is added to an MLB Active List or when the contract is filed with the MLB Commissioner (whichever comes first). Contracts must be filed with the MLB Commissioner within 20 days of signing.

A club must add a player to its MLB Reserve List immediately if the player is acquired as the result of a waiver claim, or if a player on another club's 40-man roster is acquired in a trade, or if a player is selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

In addition, an MLB club generally has the option to add any player who is on the reserve list of one of its minor league affiliates to its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) at any time. The exceptions are:

1. A minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be added to an MLB 40-man roster during the period of time beginning with the filing of MLB and minor league reserve lists on November 20th (or November 19th if November 20th falls on a Saturday, or November 18th if November 20th falls on a Sunday) up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

2. A minor league player who was sent outright to the minors cannot be added back to his club's MLB 40-man roster until he has spent at least 10 days on outright assignment, unless the player is selected to be the "26th man" on a day where a doubleheader was scheduled at least 48 hours in advance, or is selected to replace a player on the 25-man roster who is placed on the Disabled List, Bereavement List, Paternity List, Restricted List, Military List, Disqualified List, or Ineligible List, or if the season (including post-season playoffs) of the minor league team to which the player is assigned is over, or if the player is traded.

3. A minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft who was sent outright to the minors anytime after the previous Rule 5 Draft cannot be added back to his club's MLB 40-man roster during the period of time beginning at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

4. An unsigned minor league player who is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent (player was previously released in his career and/or player has spent all or part of at least seven separate seasons on a minor league active list or disabled list) cannot be unilaterally added (by selection) to his club's MLB 40-man roster any later than 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series (or 5 PM Eastern on October 15th if the World Series is canceled).

5. A player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who is given his Outright Release during the period of time extending from September 1st through March 31st cannot be added back to the MLB 40-man roster of the club that released the player until May 15th, and a player on an MLB 40-man roster who is given his Outright Release during the period of time extending from April 1st through August 31st cannot be added back to the MLB Active List of the club that released the player for at least 30 days.

6. A player who has not previously signed an MLB or minor league contract can be "Signed for Future Service" (contract is for the following season) if the player signs a Major League contract after July 1st. A player who is "Signed for Future Service" by an MLB club must be placed on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), and cannot play in MLB or in the minor leagues until Opening Day of the following season. (Attendance at a post-season Instructional League and/or participation in Instructional League games do not count). A player on an MLB 40-man roster who is "Signed for Future Service" cannot be sent to the minors by Optional or Outright Assignment any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day (same as a Draft-Excluded Player).

7. Beginning in 2012, players signed after being selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft, players signed as Non-Drafted Free-Agents (NDFA) after being eligible for selection in the MLB Rule 4 Draft, and international players subject to the International Signing Bonus Pool rule, cannot be signed to a Major League contract.

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  • Another day, another eight runs

    jacos 14 min 2 sec ago view
  • I'm not sure there was another team in baseball that would flip a Dansby Swanson type of prospect (plus Inciarte, plus Toussaint) for Miller.  That trade was just comically bad from the start, and getting worse... 

    Transmission 15 min 27 sec ago view
  • Zobrist just keeps squaring up - and Soler goes yard!

    Eric S 15 min 40 sec ago view
  • Pirates jumping all over Shelby Miller tonight - so glad the Cubs didn't flip a Dansby Swanson type prospect to the Braves for him. Two years of Lackey looking like a good alternative.

    Eric S 20 min 17 sec ago view
  • 3rd inning...soler walked twice in the game...first time since aug 4th last year in the regular season (2 times in the playoffs, amazingly).

    crunch 47 min 11 sec ago view
  • Good gravy, was that a much-appreciated top of the first.

    Transmission 1 hour 14 min ago view
  • That's a good analogy, bb...  Nice to see tonight's game start with a 104 yard kickoff return TD.

    Transmission 1 hour 17 min ago view
  • Grichuk won the game last night but a decent CF would have caught that drive by Ross. Good Cubbery!

    Cubster 1 hour 17 min ago view
  • this game is WAY better than last night.

    6 run 1st for the cubs...

    crunch 1 hour 19 min ago view
  • Very bizarre game -- as you say, both Cubs pitchers were dominant until the one fatal pitch. It was like watching the Bears defense shut down a team, and then lose on 2 punt returns. Some better hitting with RISP would be a good idea, too.

    billybucks 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • Trouble Boys, the Replacements bio, is a great option. I'm sure Chad loved it.

    Tito 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • Amen Brick. What's the point of following early-season games if you can't over-react to them? What, we should be reading books now?

    billybucks 4 hours 9 min ago view
  • "Weren't the National considered a near lock last year?"

    No, I think you're thinking of Radiohead, The 1975, or Bowie's last album.

    Although The National's Greatful Dead tribute is pretty cool.

    The E-Man 4 hours 19 min ago view
  • I don't think they're any kind of lock, though I do expect they'll make the playoffs.

    It's not like I'm glad they've gone 4-8. I just don't think it's time to be all that worried -- just like I didn't think they were going to keep playing .730 ball.

    Tito 4 hours 33 min ago view
  • vegas isn't a fan of the game because of how erratic and unpredictable it is.

    SF has recently won 3 world series many thought they weren't supposed to win...BOS won a world series recently that they weren't even supposed to be in the playoffs for...favored teams with huge wins have seen 1st round exists...fun times.

    crunch 4 hours 40 min ago view
  • I think they'll be ok too. But having watched this team since the mid-60s, I never think it's time to conclude, well, thank god the drought is over. I've seen/heard way too many people who follow the Cubs say glad we're finally going to win the Series this year. Please. Weren't the National considered a near lock last year?

    BobbyD 4 hours 52 min ago view