MLB Roster Rules Presented by Arizona Phil

Everything you ever needed to know about the complexities of major league and minor league roster rules thanks to the hard work of Arizona Phil.

MLB Reserve List (40-Man Roster)

Information on the MLB Reserve List aka 40-man roster.

MLB Roster Limits

Each MLB club is permitted to reserve no more than 40 players on its MLB Reserve List, which is why the MLB Reserve List is also called the "40-man roster."

Each MLB club is permitted to roster a maximum of 25 players on its MLB Active List (also known as the "25-man roster") beginning at 3:00 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day up through 11:59 PM (Eastern) on August 31st, and then the Active List roster limit is increased to a maximum of 40 players beginning on September 1st and extending through the last game of the MLB regular season. The Active List maximum roster limit reverts back to 25 players again for post-season play (LDS, LCS, and World Series).

NOTE: If MLB regular season games are scheduled prior to MLB Opening Day (for example, if MLB games are played in Japan, Mexico, Australia, etc), the MLB Commissioner will determine the Active List maximum roster limit for those games.   

Each MLB club is required to roster a minimum of 24 players on its MLB Active List during the MLB regular season (and post-season), but in the event of an unusual or unavoidable circumstance (such as a multi-player trade or multiple trades made at about the same time where several players have been acquired but have not yet arrived), a club's MLB Active List can temporarily go below 24 players, but for no more than 48 hours. NOTE: Even though an MLB club could play with a 24-man MLB Active Roster for an entire season (and save about $500K in payroll by doing so), in practice and by convention no MLB club would do that unless all clubs did.

No more than 16 players on a club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) may be on Optional Assignment at any one time.

A club can recall a player from a minor league Optional Assignment and place the player on its "Taxi Squad" for one day. If the player is not added to his club's MLB Active List by 3 PM (Eastern) the next day or at least three hours prior to the scheduled start of the next day's game (whichever is later), the player must be removed from the Taxi Squad and returned to his minor league assignment. A player on the Taxi Squad does not count against his club's MLB Active List, and the player does not accrue MLB Service Time while on the Taxi Squad. The most common reason to recall a player and place him on the Taxi Squad is when a club is considering whether to place a player on the Disabled List but has not yet decided.

Beginning on MLB Opening Day up through August 31st, a club can temporarily add (recall or select) a 26th player to its MLB Active List on any day where two games are scheduled, as long as the second game was scheduled at least 48 hours in advance. If the second game was scheduled less than 48 hours in advance, a 26th man can be temporarily added to a club's MLB Active List for the second game of the doubleheader only.

1. The "26th man" must be on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or has to be added to the club's 40-man roster that day.

2. The "26th man" does not have to be a pitcher.

3. In the case of a doubleheader that is scheduled at least 48 hours in advance, the 26-man Active List limit is in effect for both games of the doubleheader, but the "26th man" cannot be switched between games.

4. A player can be added to a club's Active List as the "26th man" even if he has not spent the minimum required 10 days on optional or outright assignment prior to being added.

5. The player who was recalled as the "26th man" can remain on the Active List and a different player can be dropped the next day, as long as the "26th man" was not called up prior to spending at least ten days on optional assignment. NOTE: A player called up as the "26th man" prior to spending at least ten days on Optional Assignment could remain on the 25-man roster if the player replaces a player who is placed on the Disabled List (or other MLB inactive list) the day after the doubleheader.

6. If a player is recalled as the "26th man" and is optioned back to the minors the next day, the "10-day rule" clock (prohibiting a player from being recalled until he has spent at least ten days on Optional Assignment, unless he is replacing a player who is placed on the DL or other MLB inactive list) does not start over again. However many days toward ten that the player spent on Optional Assignment prior to being recalled as the "26th man" counts.

7. A player recalled as a "26th man" accrues one day of MLB Service Time.

 

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 player's minor league season 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 (EDT) on the 5th day following the conclusion 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 October 15th or by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series (whichever is later). 

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).

NOTE: 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.

Roster Status of Signed & Unsigned Players on MLB Reserve List

After the conclusion of the MLB season, only those players on a club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who have contracts for the following season are considered "signed players," but the other players on the 40-man roster are still under club control (they are "reserved").

Unsigned players on an MLB club's Reserve List (40-man roster) would include any player who was added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, any player who can have his contract unilaterally renewed by his club, any player who is eligible for salary arbitration, and any player eligible to be an MLB free-agent per Article XX-B of the CBA.

Restrictions on Trading Players

Generally, an MLB club can trade a player on its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) and minor league reserve lists at any time. However, there are a few restrictions:

1. A player who was signed after being selected in the First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) cannot be traded any earlier than the first anniversary of signing his first contract with an MLB organization.

2. A minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), traded to another organization, or transferred from one minor league reserve list to another within the same organization, starting with the filing of MLB & 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) and the completion of the Rule 5 Draft.

3. A player cannot be traded while he is on waivers.

4. A player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who has accrued at least ten years of MLB Service Time with at least the last five years of MLB Service Time accrued with the same club has an automatic "no trade" right for as long as he remains with that club. The player can waive this right if he so chooses.

5. An MLB Article XX-B free-agent who signs a Major League contract after 11:59 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series has an automatic "no trade" right through June 15th. The player can waive this right, but if he does he can be traded only for cash and/or player contracts with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000. NOTE: An Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signs a minor league contract after 11:59 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series does NOT receive an automatic "no trade" right, even if the player is later added to the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).  

6. If a "Player to Be Named Later" (PTBNL) is part of a trade, the PTBNL cannot be on an MLB 25-man roster (MLB Active List) at any time starting when the trade is executed up until the PTBNL is announced. Clubs have six months to agree on a PTBNL. A cash payment (typically $50,000 for trades involving players on the 40-man roster) can be substituted for a PTBNL if no agreement can be reached within six months.

7. Beginning at 4 PM (Eastern) on July 31st and extending through the conclusion of the MLB regular season, Trade Assignment Waivers must be secured before a player on an MLB 40-man roster (or 60-day DL) can be traded.

8. In most cases a player on a disabled list can be traded, even if the player is not eligible to be reinstated and/or healthy enough to play. The one exception is if Trade Assignment Waivers must be secured before the player can be traded. In that case (only), the player must be eligible to be reinstated from the Disabled List AND healthy enough to play before the player can be placed on waivers. Otherwise the disabled player would have to remain a "Player to Be Named Later" until either the player is eligible to be reinstated from the Disabled List AND healthy enough to play such that Trade Assignment Waivers can be secured, or until the conclusion of the MLB regular season (if Trade Assignment Waivers are not secured).

 

Article XX-B MLB Free-Agency

Per Article XX-B of the CBA, any player on an MLB Reserve List who has accrued at least six years of MLB Service Time and who is not signed for the following season automatically becomes a free-agent at 9 AM (Eastern) on the first day after the conclusion of the World Series. The player's former club retains exclusive negotiating rights with the player up until midnight (Eastern) on the 5th day after the after the conclusion of the World Series, after-which the player is free to sign a Major League contract (or minor league contract) with any club, including with the player's former club.

Also, any international player who was at least 23 years old and who had played all or parts of at least five seasons in a recognized foreign "major" league (NPB, KBO, Serie Nacional, et al) prior to signing his first contract with an MLB club becomes an Article XX-B FA when the player's contract expires.    

CUBS ARTICLE XX-B MLB FREE-AGENTS POST-2014
(last updated 3-30-2014):
Emilio Bonifacio, IF-OF
Kyuji Fujikawa, RHP (club option)
Jason Hammel, RHP
Nate Schierholtz, OF
Jose Veras, RHP (club option)
Carlos Villanueva, RHP

An Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signs a Major League contract after 11:59 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series receives automatic "no trade" rights that extend through June 15th of the following season, even if the player re-signs with his former club. An Article XX-B MLB Free-Agent who receives "no trade" rights this way can waive the right, but if he does, his club can trade the player only for player contracts and/or cash with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000. Note that a player who signs a Major League contract after becoming a free-agent by any other means (Outright Release, Non-Tendered, or Article XX-D or MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent) does NOT receive automatic "no trade" rights through June 15th.

If an Article XX-B MLB free-agent signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List by 3 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day, the player automatically receives a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date.

CUBS ARTICLE XX-B MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS SPRING TRAINING 2014: (last updated 3-25-2014)
NONE

Compensation for Loss of Article XX-B Qualified Player

An Article XX-B free-agent is designated a "Qualified Player" if the player spent the entire immediately-preceding MLB regular season on a club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) and/or on one or more of the club's inactive lists (7-day, 15-day, and/or 60-day Disabled List, Military List, Bereavement List, et al) and/or on the Active List or an inactive list (7-day or 60-day Disabled List, Military List, Bereavement List, et al) of one or more minor league affiliates of that club, and the club offers the player a guaranteed contract (known as a "Qualifying Offer") for the following season. 

The Qualifying Offer must include a salary at least equal to the average salary of the 125 highest-paid MLB players from the previous season. The exact amount of the average salary of the 125 highes-paid MLB players from the previous season will be communicated by the MLB Labor Relations Department (LRD) simultaneously to all MLB clubs and the Major League Baseball Player's Association (MLBPA) within ten days after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. 

To be valid, a Qualifying Offer must be extended by a club no later than 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following conclusion of the World Series. The LRD then provides the MLBPA with a list of players receiving valid Qualifying Offers and the amount of each offer.    

The Qualified Player has until 5 PM (Eastern) on the 7th day after receiving the offer to decide whether to accept or decline. If the Qualified Player accepts the offer, he is considered "signed" and must be immediately added back to his club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). If he declines the offer, the player is free to sign with any MLB club, including his former club.

A club receives one compensatory draft pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds in the next MLB Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft) if the Qualified Player subsequently signs a Major League contract with another MLB club. If more than one club receives this type of compensatory pick, the draft order for the picks is the same as it is for all other rounds in that draft (clubs select in inverse order of league standings from the previous season, and in the case of two clubs finishing with the same record the previous season, league standings from two seasons back will be used to break the tie, and if If the clubs are still tied, league standings from three seasons back, four seasons back, etc, will be used to break the tie).

MLB clubs are not permitted to extend a Qualifying Offer to an Article XX-B MLB free-agent if the player has agreed in advance to decline the offer so that the club will obtain a compensatory draft pick once the player signs with another club.

An MLB club that signs a Qualified Player forfeits its 1st round selection in the Rule 4 Draft, unless the club selects in the Top 10 of the 1st Round, in which case it forfeits its next-highest pick. The next highest draft pick (or draft picks) will be forfeited if the club signs more than one Qualified Player (one draft pick forfeited for each Qualified Player signed). Draft picks subject to forfeiture include the club's own Rule 4 picks, compensatory draft picks awarded to the club after losing an Article XX-B Qualified Player, and draft picks that were awarded as the result of the Competitive Balance Lottery or as the result of the Rule 4 SBP Forfeited Draft Pick lottery (including any lottery draft pick originally awarded to another club and then subsequently acquired in a trade). A compensatory draft pick awarded to a club for failing to sign a pick from a previous Rule 4 Draft is NOT subject to forfeiture. NOTE: A Rule 4 Draft pick forfeited as the result of a club signing a Qualified Player is not transferred to any other club (it just disappears).

A Qualified Player who signs a Major League contract after 11:59 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series receives automatic "no trade" rights that extend through June 15th of the following season, even if the player re-signs with his former club. A Qualified Player who receives "no trade" rights this way can waive the right, but if he does, his club can trade the player only for player contracts and/or cash with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000.

If a Qualified Player signs a Major League contract with a new club after the MLB Rule 4 Draft, or if a Qualified Player signs a minor league contract with a new club and either remains in the minor leagues or is later added to the new club's MLB 40-man roster, the player's new club does NOT forfeit a Rule 4 Draft pick, and the player's former club does NOT receive Rule 4 Draft pick compensation. However, MLB clubs are not permitted to sign a Qualified Player to a minor league contract just to avoid losing a draft pick.

 

Tendering Contracts to Unsigned Players on MLB Reserve List

If an unsigned player is not tendered a contract on December 2nd (or December 1st if December 2nd falls on a Saturday, or November 30th if December 2nd falls on a Sunday), the player is said to be "Non-Tendered," he is immediately removed from his club's MLB 40-man roster, and he becomes an unrestricted free-agent, free to sign a major league or minor league contract with any club, including the club that non-tendered the player. A "Non-Tendered" player receives no termination pay, and the player's former club receives no compensation if the player subsequently signs with another club.

Each unsigned player on an MLB 40-man roster who is tendered a contract must be offered at least the MLB minimum salary ($500K) and (with a couple of exceptions) at least 80% of the player's previous season's salary, and at least 70% of the player's salary from two seasons back.

Some players have a "minor league split" salary in their contract which they are paid if they are sent to the minors. In most cases, a player's minor league "split" salary must be at least 60% of the player's salary from the previous season. The one exception is if a free-agent signs a major league contract with a minor league "split" salary, the "60% rule" does not apply

The minor league "split" minimum salary is $40,250 for players who are on an MLB 40-man roster for the first time, and a minimum $80,500 for all other players.

Performance-Incentive Bonuses

Performance-incentive bonuses are permitted in Major League contracts, but a bonus cannot be based on batting or pitching skill, or where the club finishes in the standings. A performance-incentive bonus can, however, be tied to days spent on an MLB Active List during the MLB regular season, and/or Games Played, Games Started, Games Finished, and/or Innings Pitched for pitchers, or Games Played, Games Started, and/or Plate Appearances for position players. Awards such as MVP, Cy Young, Silver Slugger, and/or Gold Glove, and/or being named to an All-Star team, can also be tied to an incentive bonus.

Arbitration-Eligible Players

An unsigned player under club control who has accrued at least three but less than six years of MLB Service Time is automatically eligible for salary arbitration. Also, any unsigned player with at least two years but less than three years of MLB Service Time who accrued at least 86 days of MLB Service Time the previous season can qualify for salary arbitration as a so-called "Super Two" if the player is among the top 22% in MLB Service Time of players in that group.

CUBS PROJECTED ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE POST-2014: (last updated 3-30-2014)
Jake Arrieta, RHP (will qualify only if at least 28 days of MLB Service Time are accrued in 2014)
John Baker, C
Darwin Barney, INF
Welington Castillo, C
Ryan Kalish, OF (will qualify if at least 139 days of MLB Service Time are accrued in 2014, or could qualify as a "Super Two" with at least 86 days of MLB Service Time accrued in 2014)
James McDonald, RHP
Justin Ruggiano, OF
James Russell, LHP
Jeff Samardzija, RHP
Pedro Strop, RHP 
Luis Valbuena, INF
Arodys Vizcaino, RHP (would very likely qualify as a “Super Two” with at least 86 days of MLB Service Time in 2014)
Travis Wood, LHP
Wesley Wright, LHP

If a club and a player eligible for salary arbitration cannot agree on a contract, the player can request the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to file for salary arbitration. The MLBPA is responsible for delivering all requests for salary arbitration to the MLB Labor Relations Department (MLB LRD) on the Tuesday immediately prior to the third Friday in January. Once salary arbitration has been requested, the player submits his desired salary to the MLBPA and the club submits its salary offer to the MLB LRD, and the MLBPA and MLB LRD exchange the two figures on the third Friday in January. The MLBPA and MLB LRD then schedule a hearing with a three-person arbitration panel. Hearings are held on various dates during the first three weeks of February.

The club's offer must be at least the MLB minimum salary and, in most cases, must be at least 80% of the player's previous year's salary and at least 70% of the player's salary from two seasons back. However, if the player received a raise in excess of 50% by a salary arbitration panel the previous season, a 20% maximum salary reduction from the previous season and a 30% maximum salary reduction from two seasons back does not apply, and the club only has to offer at least the MLB minimum salary.

After arbitration has been requested, the player and the club can continue to negotiate back & forth, and the player can withdraw from the process any time up until the hearing. And in fact this frequently happens, as the player and the club will often agree to just "split the difference" (something the panel cannot do). If the matter does go to a hearing, the arbitration panel must choose either the club's offer or the player's figure.

Win or lose, the player is awarded a standard one-year MLB contract with no "minor league split" salary or incentive/performance bonuses. Also, the contract is not guaranteed, so if the player is released during Spring Training, the club would only owe the player 30 days or 45 days salary as termination pay, depending on when the player is released. (A player on an MLB 40-man roster receives 100% of what remains of his salary if he is released during the regular season).

NOTE: The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) is very sensitive about salary arbitration, so if a player who was awarded a contract through the salary arbitration process is released during Spring Training, the MLBPA will almost always file a grievance on behalf of the player, claiming the player was released for economic reasons only (which is not permitted), and asking that the released player receive 100% of his salary as termination pay. In that situation, a club would have to show (by submitting official Spring Training game stats) that the released player was out-performed in Spring Training games by another player (or players) competing for that roster spot.

 

Pre-Arbitration/Auto-Renewal Players

An unsigned player under club control who does not yet qualify for salary arbitration ultimately has to either accept the club's offer or just not play.

A club will negotiate with the player up to a point, but if the club and the player cannot agree on a deal by the first week of March, the club has the right to unilaterally dictate the player's salary and/or renew the player's contract (albeit for an amount not less than the MLB minimum salary, and not less than 80% of the player's salary from the previous season and not less than 70% of the player's salary from two season's back).

These players are the ones who have a "minor league split" salary in their contract, which the player is paid if he is sent to the minors. A player's "minor league split" salary must be at least equal to the MLB "minor league split" minimum salary and must be at least 60% of the player's salary from the previous season.

 

MLB Rule 5 Draft

Each MLB club is required to file its MLB Reserve List and the reserve list for each of its minor league affiliates with the MLB Commissioner on November 20th each year (or November 19th if November 20th falls on a Saturday, or November 18th if November 20th falls on a Sunday), and the MLB Rule 5 Draft is held subsequent to the reserve lists being filed.

The MLB Rule 5 Draft is presently the last order of business at the MLB WINTER MEETINGS in December, and it is a mechanism that allows MLB clubs to select (draft) players off minor league reserve lists.

There is a "Major League Phase" where an MLB club can select Rule 5 Draft eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs for $50,000, a "AAA Phase" where a club's AAA minor league affiliate can select Rule 5 Draft eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a lower classification for $12,000, and finally a "AA Phase" where a club's AA minor league affiliate can select Rule 5 Draft eligible players off the reserve lists of Class "A" clubs for $4,000.

Rule 5 Draft Eligibility

1. A minor league player who was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract is eligible for selection starting with the 5th Rule 5 Draft after he signs, and a minor league player who was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract becomes eligible for selection starting with the 4th Rule 5 Draft that followed his signing.

2. If a player signs his first contract after the conclusion of the season of the MLB or minor league club to which he is first assigned, the next season is considered to be the player's "first season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes.

3. A free-agent with prior MLB and/or minor league service who signs a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection if the player was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 5th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract, or the player was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 4th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract. 

4. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has either been released or had his contract voided, and then re-signs with the same MLB organization within one year is eligible for selection. However, a player who was signed after being selected in the First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) cannot be eligible for selection in a Rule 5 Draft until after the first anniversary of the player signing his first contract with an MLB organization.

5. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career is eligible for selection.

6. A player on the Voluntary Retired List, Disqualified List, or Ineligible List is not eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, but a player on the Restricted List or the Military List is eligible for selection.

7. An MLB club can designate any player on a minor league reserve list "eligible for selection" in the Rule 5 Draft even if the player would not normally be eligible, but once a player is made eligible for selection, he remains eligible for selection in all subsequent Rule 5 drafts. However, a player who was signed after being selected in the First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) cannot be designated "eligible for selection" in a Rule 5 Draft until after the first anniversary of the player signing his first contract with an MLB organization.

8. A minor league player-manager who would be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if he was only a player can be selected, but if he is selected, the player-manager can reject the selection. He has 30 days to decide. If he rejects the selection, the player-manager cannot be re-signed as a player during the following season.  

CUBS MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN DECEMBER 2014 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 4-16-2014):
Gilberto Abreu, RHP
Gioskar Amaya, INF
John Andreoli, OF
Delbis Arcila, OF
Jose Arias, RHP
Jeffrey Baez, OF
Frank Batista, RHP
Zach Cates, RHP
Hunter Cervenka, LHP
Pin-Chieh Chen, OF
Gerardo Concepcion, LHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Willson Contreras, C
Wes Darvill, INF
Taylor Davis, C
Zeke DeVoss, OF
Alberto Diaz, LHP
C. J. Edwards, RHP
Kevin Encarnacion, OF
P. J. Francescon, RHP
Victor Garcia, LHP
Dustin Geiger, INF
Anthony Giansanti, OF
Jae-Hoon Ha, OF
Kyle Hendricks, RHP
Marco Hernandez, INF
Michael Jensen, RHP
Eric Jokisch, LHP
Austin Kirk, LHP
Matt Loosen, RHP
Rafael Lopez, C
Jeff Lorick, LHP
Barret Loux, RHP
Dillon Maples, RHP
Andrew McKirahan, LHP
Trey McNutt, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Alberto Mineo, C
Yoanner Negrin, RHP
Carlos Penalver, INF
Felix Pena, RHP
Ivan Pineyro, RHP
James Pugliese, RHP
Austin Reed, RHP
Victor Salazar, RHP
Matt Scioscia, C-1B
Tayler Scott, RHP
Rock Shoulders, 1B
Rubi Silva, OF
Brian Smith, LHP
Elliot Soto, INF
Antonio Valerio, C
Yao-Lin Wang, RHP
Ben Wells, RHP
Oliver Zapata, OF
Tony Zych, RHP

Additionally, any player eligible to be a Rule 55 Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent (6YFA) post-2014 who signs a 2015 minor league contract or agrees to a 2015 minor league successor contract prior to the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection.

Also, any player eligible to be a Rule 55 Second Contract Minor League Free-Agent who signs a 2015 minor league contract prior to the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection if the player was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 5th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract, or the player was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 4th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract.  

CUBS RULE 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS POST-2014:

SIX-YEAR FREE-AGENT:
Lars Anderson, 1B (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Jeffry Antigua, LHP 
Alberto Cabrera, RHP
Marcelo Carreno, RHP
Lendy Castillo, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Hunter Cervenka, LHP (see NOTE)
Chris Coghlan, OF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs) 
Charlie Cutler, C
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Luis Flores, C
Edgar Gonzalez, INF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Tommy Hottovy, LHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Marcos Mateo, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs) 
Jonathon Mota, INF
Starling Peralta, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Carlos Pimentel, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Jose Rosario, RHP
Jonathan Sanchez, LHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Ryan Searle, RHP
Jeudy Valdez, INF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Chris Valaika, INF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Casper Wells, OF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Eli Whiteside, C (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
NOTE: Hunter Cervenka will be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA post-2014 if he signed a 2008 contract when he signed his "first contract" with the Boston Red Sox on 8-15-2008. However, if he was “Signed for Future Service“ (first contract was a 2009 contract), he will not be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA until post-2015.

SECOND CONTRACT FREE-AGENT
Humberto Garcia, INF (previously released by CHW)
Nate Maldonado, C (previously released by CHC)
Yomar Pacheco, RHP (previously released by PIT)
Joel Pineiro, RHP (previously released by BAL - Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later reclaimed by Cubs)
Brohiglyn Rivero, RHP (previously released by TB)
Roberto Vahlis, C (previously released by TOR)
Tsuyoshi Wada, LHP (previously released by CHC) 
NOTE: Even if they sign 2015 minor league contracts, B. Rivero and Vahlis will NOT be eligible for selection in the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft. Also, because they re-signed with the same MLB organization (Cubs) within one year after being released, Maldonado and Wada would be eligible for selection only if the player signs a 2015 minor league contract with the Cubs prior to the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft, but the player would not be eligible for selection if he signs a 2015 minor league contract with a different MLB organization prior to the Rule 5 Draft. 

 

Rule 5 Draft Restrictions

1. A minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), traded to another organization, or transferred from one minor league reserve list to another within the same organization, starting with the filing of MLB & minor league reserve lists on November 20th up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

2. A player cannot be sent outright to the minors on the two days prior to the Rule 5 Draft and on the day of the Rule 5 Draft (through the conclusion of the draft).

3. A club must have as many slots open on its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players it selects in the Major League Phase, and an MLB club's AAA and AA affiliates must have as many slots open on their respective reserve lists prior to the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players the affiliate selects in the AAA and AA phases of the draft. There is no limit on the number of Rule 5 eligible players any one organization can lose.

4. A player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be placed on the drafting club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) immediately, and must be tendered a major league contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the day of the draft.

5. A player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft can be traded at any time, but the player cannot be released or sent to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then only if Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured and the player's former club declines to re-claim the player.

6. If a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft remains on an MLB Active List and/or MLB Disabled List(s) for the entire MLB regular season following selection & spends at least 90 days on an MLB Active List (25-man roster), Rule 5 restrictions are removed at the conclusion of the MLB regular season. (If time spent on an MLB Active List is less than 90 days in the season following selection, the player remains a Rule 5 player into the next season, and the player continues to be a Rule 5 player until he has spent 90 days total on an MLB Active List).

7. If a club decides not to keep a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 draft on its MLB 25-man Active List (and/or MLB DL), the player must be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, where any of the other 29 MLB clubs can claim the player for the $25,000 Rule 5 waiver price and assume the Rule 5 obligations.

8. If the Rule 5 player is not claimed off Outright Waivers, the player then must be offered back to the club from which he was drafted, and the player's former club can reclaim the player for $25,000, with the player being automatically outrighted to the Reserve List of the minor league club from which he was drafted. The club from which the player was drafted usually has 72 hours to decide whether to reclaim the player, but it has only 24 hours to decide if the player is eligible to be an Article XX-D Free-Agent if outrighted to the minors (player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career).

9. If a Rule 5 player is returned (outrighted) to the minor league club from which he was drafted, the drafting club is responsible for any portion of the player's salary above what the player was paid the previous season.

10. If a Rule 5 Player is returned (outrighted) to the minor league club from which he was drafted, and if the player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career, the player can elect to be an MLB Article XX-D minor league free-agent after being outrighted (he has three days to decide), or he can accept the Outright Assignment and defer the right to be a minor league free-agent until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. (An outrighted "Super Two" Rule 5 player who has not previously been outrighted to the minors can elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors, but he cannot defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season).

11. If the club from which the player was drafted declines to reclaim the player, the Rule 5 restrictions are removed, the drafting club retains the player, and the player can be sent to the minors or released.

12. A player selected in the AAA or AA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be assigned to the Reserve List of the AAA or AA club that drafted the player, but the player can be assigned to the Active List of any minor league affiliate in the MLB club's organization once the minor league regular season commences. Also, unlike players selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, a player selected in the AAA or AA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft does not have to be offered back to the club from which he was drafted if the player is ultimately assigned to the Active List of a minor league affiliate below the level of the minor league affiliate that drafted the player.

13. A club can select a player off the reserve list of one of its own minor league affiliates, but if the player is selected in the Major League Phase, the club is bound by the same Rule 5 roster restrictions as if it had selected the player off the reserve list of another club's minor league affiliate.

14. A player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "covered up" from selection, either by agreement between two clubs or by effect. Also, a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "hidden" on a Disabled List to help the drafting club fulfill Rule 5 roster obligations. If the MLB Commissioner believes a club "covered up" a player to avoid losing the player in the Rule Draft or "hid" a selected player on a Disabled List, the offending club or clubs are subject to a penalty (TBD by the MLB Commissioner).

 

Draft-Excluded Player

A "Draft-Excluded Player" is any minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft whose contract is selected and who is added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) between August 15th and the Rule 5 Draft.

While a "Draft-Excluded Player" can be non-tendered on 12/2 and released or traded at any time, he cannot be sent to the minors by Optional Assignment beginning with the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day, and a Draft-Excluded Player can be outrighted to the minors prior to the Rule 5 Draft only if Outright Assignment Waivers are requested no later than 2 PM (Eastern) on the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series. If Outright Assignment Waivers are not requested by 2 PM (Eastern) on the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series, Outright Assignment Waivers cannot be requested until 25 days prior to MLB Opening Day, and the player cannot be sent outright to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day.

CUBS WITH DRAFT-EXCLUDED STATUS POST-2014
 (last updated 3-15-2014)
NONE AT THIS TIME  

MLB Disaster Plan (Restocking Draft)

In the event that an incident occurs where at least five players from the same MLB club are killed, dismembered, and/or permanently disabled, MLB has a "Rehabilitation Plan" in place under Rule 29 that includes financial support and a "Restocking Draft" for the stricken club (known as the "Disabled Club"). The plan has existed in basically the same form since 1965, so the method for allocating talent to the affected team essentially follows the mechanism used to distribute players to MLB expansion teams in 1960-61.

Under this plan, after a reasonable period of mourning, and presuming that the MLB Commissioner, the MLBPA, and the other 29 clubs jointly agree that the Disabled Club's season should continue, each of the other 29 clubs will be required to contribute five players from its MLB Active List (25-man roster) into the Restocking Draft pool, including one pitcher, one infielder, one outfielder, and one catcher (but only if the club has at least three catchers on its 25-man roster), plus one additional player regardless of position (or two additional players regardless of position if the club does not have three catchers on its 25-man roster).  

If the incident occurs during the off-season or during Spring Training, each of the other 29 clubs will be required to contribute six players from its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) into the Restocking Draft pool, including one pitcher, one infielder, one outfielder, and one catcher (but only if the club has at least three catchers on its 40-man roster), plus two additional players regardless of position (or three additional players regardless of position if the club does not have three catchers on its 40-man roster).  

From the Restocking Draft pool, the Disabled Club will be permitted to select replacements for the players lost in the disaster.

1. The number of players selected by the Disabled Club must match the number of players lost in the disaster;

2. No club can lose more than one player;

3. Any player with a "no trade" right is exempt from inclusion in the pool unless the player waives his "no trade" right in advance;

4. The five (or six) players made available by each club must include as many players with a minimum of 60 days (0+060) of MLB service time as were lost in the disaster;

5. Players on the Disabled List cannot be included in the pool unless the player is eligible to be reinstated from the DL and the player's club certifies that the player is healthy enough to play if selected.

In addition to the Restocking Draft and financial support, various other considerations may be temporarily extended to the Disabled Club, including additional selections in the MLB Rule 4 and Rule 5 drafts, a higher waiver-claim priority, and/or a modification to restrictions on post-season roster eligibility.  

 

Minor League Options

Normally, a player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man Roster) is allotted three minor league option years. This means the player can be sent to the minors and be available 24/7 for recall back to the major league club whenever the player might be needed during the course of three different seasons. Note that if a player spends 20 or more days of an MLB regular season on Optional Assignment to the minors, an option year is expended, but if the player spends 19 or fewer days of an MLB regular season on Optional Assignment, an option year is NOT expended.

Also, if a signed player with minor league options remaining is sent outright to the minors prior to MLB Opening Day and then is reacquired by the same club and added to the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) during the MLB regular season and at least 20 days after MLB Opening Day, or if a player with minor league options remaining is sent outright to the minors during the MLB regular season and then is reacquired by the same club during that same MLB regular season and added to the club's MLB Reserve List at least 20 days after the Outright Assignment, an option year is spent, even though the player was not optioned to the minors.

After three minor league option years have been spent, the player is said to be "out of options" and the only way the club can send the player to the minors is by removing the player from the 40-man roster and sending him "outright" to the minors. And the club can do this only after first securing Outright Assignment Waivers (which are irrevocable) from the other 29 MLB clubs.

Fourth Minor League Option

Most players get only three minor league options, but a player who has accrued less than five "full seasons" is eligible for a 4th minor league option.

For the purpose of determining eligibility for a 4th minor league option, a player accrues a "full season" when he spends at least 90 days on the Active List of an MLB and/or minor league club or clubs in a given season, or (in seasons prior to 2012) spends at least 60 days but less than 90 days on the Active List of an MLB and/or minor league club or clubs followed by a Disabled List assignment where the combined time spent on the Active List and Disabled List equals at least 90 days or (beginning with the 2012 season) spends at least 30 days but less than 90 days on the Active List of an MLB and/or minor league club or clubs followed by a Disabled List assignment where the combined time spent on the Active List and Disabled List equals at least 90 days.   

Optional Assignment Waivers are not required when a player is sent to the minors using a 4th minor league option.

If a player qualifies for a 4th minor league option year, the 4th option is available during Spring Training and for the entire MLB regular season. 

CUBS ELIGIBLE FOR 4TH MINOR LEAGUE OPTION:
Hector Rondon, RHP  (in 2014)
Justin Grimm, RHP (in 2015)
Jorge Soler, OF (in 2015)
Matt Szczur, OF (in 2015)

 

Restrictions on Optioning Players to the Minors

1. No player may be optioned to the minors prior to the start of Spring Training.

2. An injured player cannot be optioned to the minors.  

3. A "Rule 5 Player" cannot be optioned to the minors until Rule 5 restrictions have been removed.

RULE 5 PLAYERS ON CUBS 40-MAN ROSTER
NONE

4. A "Draft-Excluded Player" cannot be optioned to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day.

DRAFT-EXCLUDED PLAYERS ON CUBS 40-MAN ROSTER
NONE 

5. A player who has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time cannot be optioned to the minors without his consent. The player can waive this right, but the waiver cannot be signed more than ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, the player has the right to designate in advance which minor league team to which he can be assigned, and the waiver automatically expires if the player is not optioned to the minors within 45 days or by the 45th day of the MLB regular season (whichever is later).

CUBS WHO MUST GIVE PERMISSION BEFORE THEY CAN BE OPTIONED TO MINORS:
Ryan Sweeney, OF
Carlos Villanueva, RHP

6. A player who is optioned to the minors generally must remain on Optional Assignment for at least ten days. (A player optioned to the minors during Spring Training generally must remain on Optional Assignment for the first ten days of the MLB regular season). The only exceptions are if the player is recalled as the "26th man" for a day where a doubleheader was scheduled at least 48 hours in advance, or is recalled to replace a player on the 25-man roster who is placed on an MLB inactive list (Disabled List, Bereavement List, Paternity List, Restricted List, et al), or if the player's minor league season is over, or if the player is traded.

7. All players on Optional Assignment to the minors must be recalled no later than the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.

 

 

Waivers

Waivers must be secured before certain types of transactions can be completed.

There are two types of waivers (release waivers and assignment waivers), and while there is only one type of release waiver (Outright Release), there are three different types of assignment waivers (Trade Assignment, Optional Assignment, and Outright Assignment). Each type of waivers has a special set of rules that apply.

The MLB waiver list is transmitted at 2 PM (Eastern) every business day. Every day is an MLB business day during Spring Training and the MLB Regular Season, but Saturday, Sunday, and national holidays (Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, and Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday) are not considered MLB business days during the off-season, so the MLB waiver list is transmitted at 2 PM (Eastern) Monday through Friday only (not including national holidays that fall on a weekday) during the off-season.

If a club requests a waiver prior to the 2 PM (Eastern) deadline, the waiver request is transmitted that day. If the waiver is requested after 2 PM (Eastern), the waiver request will not be transmitted until the next business day. Any of the other 29 MLB clubs can make a claim while the player is on waivers, and then at 1 PM (Eastern) on the second business day after the waivers are requested the MLB office determines if any claims were made, and if so, which club is awarded the claim.

RESTRICTIONS ON WAIVER REQUESTS:

1. A club can place no more than seven players on waivers per day, and a club can make a maximum of 50 waiver claims per week.

2. A player on a Disabled List cannot be placed on assignment waivers during Spring Training, and a player on a Disabled List cannot be placed on assignment waivers during the MLB regular season until he is both eligible to be reinstated from the DL and healthy enough to play.

3. Neither assignment waivers nor release waivers can be requested on a player while he is on the Bereavement List, Military List, Suspended List, Disqualified List, or Ineligible List.

4. Outright Release Waivers (but NOT assignment waivers) may be requested on a player while he is on the Voluntary Retired List.

5. A player cannot be traded while he is on waivers

6. A player can be on only one type of waivers at any one time.  

 

Waiver Periods

The four MLB waiver periods are:

1. February 16th through the 30th day of the MLB regular season;
2. 31st day of the MLB regular season through July 31st;
3. August 1st through November 10th;
4. November 11th through February 15th.

 

 

Awarding Waiver Claims

The procedure for awarding waiver claims is different depending on the type of waivers and the time of the year.

PROCEDURE FOR AWARDING OF WAIVER CLAIMS (TYPE OF WAIVERS):

1. For Optional Assignment Waivers, Outright Assignment Waivers, and Outright Release Waivers (but NOT for Trade Assignment Waivers): If a player is claimed by only one club, that club is awarded the claim. If more than one club makes a claim, the club with the lowest winning percentage (regardless of league) on the day the player clears waivers is awarded the claim. If two clubs with the same winning percentage make a claim, the club in the player's own league is awarded the claim. If two clubs from the same league make a claim and they are tied in the standings, the club with the lowest winning percentage from the previous season is awarded the claim. If the clubs are still tied, standings from two years back (or three years back, four years back, etc) are used to break the tie.

2. For Trade Assignment Waivers (only): If a player is claimed by more than one club, the club in the player's own league with the lowest winning percentage is awarded the claim, even if that club has a higher winning percentage than the club or clubs making a claim from the other league. So a player placed on Trade Assignment Waivers must first be "waived out of his own league" before he can be assigned to a club in the other league.

PROCEDURE FOR AWARDING OF WAIVER CLAIMS (TIME OF THE YEAR)

1. During the off-season and up through the first 30 days of he MLB regular season, the previous season's MLB standings are used to determine waiver claim priority. 

2. Beginning on the 31st day of the MLB regular season through the conclusion of the MLB regular season, the MLB standings as of the date the player clears waivers are used to determine waiver claim priority, with the previous season's MLB standings only used to break ties.

RESTRICTION ON MAKING WAIVER CLAIMS:

A club is not permitted to make a waiver claim and then trade the player to another club if the purpose of the claim was to prevent a third club from being awarded the waiver claim. (A waiver claim that is judged by the MLB Commissioner to have been made for this purpose will be revoked).

Trade Assignment Waivers

The deadline for "non-waiver" (unrestricted) trades is 4 PM (Eastern) on July 31st. No trades can be made between 4 PM and 5 PM (Eastern) on July 31st, and then beginning at 5 PM (Eastern) on July 31st and extending through to the conclusion of the MLB regular season, Trade Assignment Waivers must be secured before players on MLB 40-man rosters can be traded. (Waivers are never required to trade a player on a minor league reserve list).

If a player is placed on Trade Assignment Waivers and is not claimed, waivers are said to be "secured" and the player can be traded to any MLB club at any time, just like prior to the non-waiver trade deadline.

Trade Assignment Waivers are revocable the first time they are requested on a given player in a waiver period, so if a player is claimed, the player's club has the option to either withdraw the waiver request and retain the player, or allow the waiver claim to stand. The player's club has 48 hours to make this decision, and during this "window" the club has the right to trade the player to the claiming club (but ONLY to the claiming club). If the player is not traded to the claiming club before the window closes, and the player's club chooses not to withdraw the waiver request, the player is automatically assigned to the claiming club for the $20,000 waiver price ($25,000 for Draft-Excluded and Rule 5 players) and the claiming club assumes 100% of the player's contract. (A player with a "no trade" right can refuse both a waiver claim and a trade assignment, however).

If a player is claimed but not traded and the waiver request is subsequently withdrawn, the player cannot be placed on Trade Assignment Waivers again for at least 30 days from the date the waiver request is withdrawn, and if the player is placed on Trade Assignment Waivers again before the end of the season, the waivers become irrevocable and cannot be withdrawn. A player who has a "no trade" right (full or partial) cannot be placed on Trade Assignment Waivers a second time before the end of the season unless the player first waives his "no trade" right.

Trade Assignment Waivers secured on a player on Optional Assignment to the minors or on an MLB Disabled List expire after 72 hours.

If a player on an MLB Disabled List is placed on Trade Assignment Waivers, he must be eligible to be reinstated from the DL and healthy enough to play. If waivers are secured, the player must be reinstated from the DL within 72 hours. If the player is claimed and the waiver request is subsequently withdrawn, the player must be reinstated from the DL immedialtely.

 

Optional Assignment Waivers

Optional Assignment Waivers must be secured before a player can be optioned to the minors once he has reached the third anniversary of being added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List for the first time, or the two-year anniversary if the player spent one full season on Optional Assignment to the minors prior to being added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List for the first time, or the one-year anniversary if the player spent two full seasons on Optional Assignment to the minors prior to being added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List for the first time.

Optional Assignment Waivers are revocable and can be withdrawn if a claim is made, but if a player is claimed off Optional Assignment Waivers and the waiver request is subsequently withdrawn, the player cannot be placed on Optional Assignment Waivers again for at least 30 days from the date the waiver request is withdrawn, and if a player is placed on Optional Assignment Waivers a second time in the same waiver period, the waivers become irrevocable and the request cannot be withdrawn. A player who has a "no trade" right (full or partial) cannot be placed on Optional Assignment Waivers a second time before the end of the waiver period unless the player first waives his "no trade" right.

Optional Assignment Waivers secured during the waiver period that commences on February 16th and during the waiver period that starts on the 31st day of the MLB regular season are in effect for the entire waiver period, but Optional Assignment Waivers secured during the waiver period that begins on August 1st are in effect only through the conclusion of the MLB regular season.

Optional Assignment Waivers secured on a player who is on an MLB Disabled List expire after 72 hours.

If a player on an MLB Disabled List is placed on Optional Assignment Waivers, he must be eligible to be reinstated from the DL and healthy enough to play. If waivers are secured, the player must be reinstated from the DL within 72 hours. If the player is claimed and the waiver request is subsequently withdrawn, the player must be reinstated from the DL immedialtely.

A club does not have to option a player to the minors after Optional Assignment Waivers have been secured.

Optional Assignment Waivers cannot be requested after October 1st or secured prior to February 16th.

Optional Assignment Waivers are not required if a player is being sent to the minors using a 4th minor league option, or if a player is being optioned to the minors within 24 hours after being acquired in a trade, or if a player is being optioned back to the minors after being recalled to serve as the "26th man" in a doubleheader.

OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT WAIVERS MUST BE SECURED BEFORE PLAYER CAN BE OPTIONED (last updated 3-31-2014):
Jake Arrieta, RHP 
John Baker, C 
Darwin Barney, INF
Starlin Castro, INF 
Ryan Kalish, OF
James Russell, LHP 
Brian Schlitter, RHP
Ryan Sweeney, OF (also must give his permission before he can be optioned) 
Carlos Villanueva, RHP (also must give his permission before he can be optioned)

 

Outright Assignment Waivers

If a club wishes to remove a player from its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) and send the player to the minors, the club must first secure Outright Assignment Waivers.

For all players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man Roster) other than Rule 5 players, Draft-Excluded players, and injured players, Outright Assignment Waivers can generally be requested anytime in a given waiver period, and they are always irrevocable. The waiver price is $25,000 for Rule 5 and Draft-Excluded players, and $20,000 for all other players.

Once secured, Outright Assignment Waivers remain in effect for a set period of time:

1. Seven days or until the end of the waiver period (whichever comes first) for Outright Assignment Waivers secured September 1st through the 30th day of the MLB regular season:

2. The entire waiver period for Outright Assignment Waivers secured starting on the 31st day of the MLB regular season through August 31st.

3. 72 hours if the player is on Optional Assignment to the minors or on a Disabled List.

If a player on an MLB or minor league Disabled List is placed on Outright Assignment Waivers during the MLB regular season, he must be eligible to be reinstated from the DL and healthy enough to play. If waivers are secured, the player must be reinstated from the DL within 72 hours. If a player on an MLB Disabled List is placed on Outright Assignment Waivers after the conclusion of the MLB regular season and waivers are secured, the player must be reinstated from the DL within 72 hours.

A player who has a "no trade" right (full or partial) must waive his "no trade" right before he can be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers.

A club does not have to outright a player to the minors after Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured.

 

Right to Refuse an Outright Assignment

A signed player who has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time cannot be sent outright to the minors without his consent. The player can waive this right, but the waiver cannot be signed more than ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, the player has the right to designate in advance which minor league team to which he can be assigned, and the waiver automatically expires if the player is not outrighted to the minors within 45 days or by the 45th day of the MLB regular season (whichever is later).

CUBS WHO MUST GIVE PERMISSION BEFORE THEY CAN BE SENT OUTRIGHT TO MINORS (last updated 3-30-2014): 
Emilio Bonifacio, IF-OF
Jason Hammel, RHP
Edwin Jackson, RHP 
Nate Schierholtz, OF
Ryan Sweeney, OF 
Jose Veras, RHP
Carlos Villanueva, RHP   

Per Article XX-D of the CBA, a player on an MLB 40-man roster who has been outrighted previously in his career and/or who has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time can elect to be a free-agent if he is sent outright to the minors. The outrighted Article XX-D player can elect to be a free-agent immediately upon being outrighted, or he can accept the Outright Assignment and defer his option to elect free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. However, a player eligible to be a free-agent if outrighted who accepts an Outright Assignment and defers his option to elect free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season forfeits his right to elect free-agency if he is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season.

If a player eligible to be a free-agent if outrighted elects to be a free-agent immediately, his contract is terminated and he receives no termination pay. But if the Article XX-D player accepts the Outright Assignment and defers his right to be a free-agent until the conclusion of the MLB regular season, the player continues to get paid, receiving the balance of his salary through to the end of the season. And then if the outrighted Article XX-D player is not subsequently added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season, the player can elect free-agency anytime beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season through October 15th.

A player who has not previously been outrighted to the minors or who has not yet accrued three years of MLB Service Time but who qualified for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player after the conclusion of the previous MLB regular season can elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors, but an outrighted "Super Two" player cannot defer free-agency until the conclusion of the MLB regular season. To become a free-agent, the outrighted "Super Two" player must elect free-agency immediately.

CUBS PLAYERS ELIGIBLE TO ELECT FREE-AGENCY IF SENT OUTRIGHT TO MINORS (last updated 3-30-2014): 
John Baker, C
Darwin Barney, INF
Emilio Bonifacio, IF-OF
Starlin Castro, INF
Jason Hammel, RHP
Edwin Jackson, RHP
James McDonald, RHP
Blake Parker, RHP
Hector Rondon, RHP
Justin Ruggiano, OF
James Russell, LHP
Jeff Samardzija, RHP
Nate Schierholtz, OF
Brian Schlitter, RHP
Pedro Strop, RHP ("Super Two" player)
Ryan Sweeney, OF
Luis Valbuena, INF
Jose Veras, RHP
Carlos Villanueva, RHP
Travis Wood, LHP
Wesley Wright, LHP

Once an outrighted player eligible to elect free-agency becomes a free-agent, the player can sign a major league or minor league contract with any club, including the player's previous club.

The club must advise an Article XX-D player in writing when it has decided to outright the player to the minors. (The club can notify the player up to eight days in advance of the assignment during the off-season or if the player is out of minor league options, and up to four days in advance if the assignment is contemplated during Spring Training or during the MLB regular season). Once notified, the player must make his decision whether to accept or decline the assignment within eight days if he is outrighted during the off-season, or within three days if he is outrighted during Spring Training or during the MLB regular season.

 

Restrictions on Outrighting Players During the Off-Season

1. A player cannot be sent outright to the minors on the two days prior to the Rule 5 Draft and on the day of the Rule 5 Draft up through the conclusion of the draft.

2. A "Rule 5 Player" cannot be outrighted to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to the start of the MLB regular season.

RULE 5 PLAYERS ON CUBS 40-MAN ROSTER
NONE

3. A "Draft-Excluded Player" can be outrighted to the minors only if Outright Assignment Waivers are requested no later than 2 PM (Eastern) on the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series, and if a "Draft-Excluded Player" is not outrighted to the minors prior to the Rule 5 Draft, the player cannot be sent to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to the start of the MLB regular season (same as a Rule 5 player).

POST-2014 DRAFT-EXCLUDED PLAYERS ON CUBS 40-MAN ROSTER  
NONE

4. An unsigned player who is eligible to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent if outrighted can be outrighted to the minors anytime during the off-season, but a player who would have been eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent if the player had been on a minor league reserve list cannot be outrighted to the minors after 5 PM (Eastern) on October 15th or after 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series (whichever is later) unless and until the player signs a major league contract for the following season or agrees (in advance) to sign a minor league contract for the following season.

POST-2014 UNSIGNED MLB RULE 55 PLAYERS ON CUBS 40-MAN ROSTER 
NONE 

5. If a player accrues at least one day of MLB Service Time in a season and then is outrighted to the minors prior to being tendered a Major League contract for the following season, the player's minor league monthly salary for the following season must be at least 80% of his final monthly salary from the previous season.

 

Restrictions on Outrighting an Injured Player

An injured player cannot be outrighted to the minors during the MLB regular season, but most injured players can be outrighted to the minors at certain times during the off-season:

1. An injured player who has accrued less than three years of MLB Service Time in his career and who did not accrue any MLB Service Time the previous season, has not previously been outrighted to the minors, and who was not selected in the immediately-preceding Rule 5 Draft, can be outrighted to the minors during a period of time beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until the 15th day prior to the start of the next MLB regular season.

CAN BE OUTRIGHTED IF INJURED  UNTIL 15TH DAY PRIOR TO 2015 MLB OPENING DAY (last updated 3-17-2014):
TBD post-2014

2. Most other injured players can be outrighted to the minors only during a period of time beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until reserve lists are filed in November, but an injured "Rule 5 Player" can be outrighted during this period only after Rule 5 restrictions have been removed, and a "Draft-Excluded Player" can be outrighted during this period only if Outright Assignment Waivers are requested by 2 PM (Eastern) on the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series.

Outright Release Waivers

Outright Release Waivers are irrevocable and cannot be withdrawn once they are requested.

While a player claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers costs $20,000 (or $25,000 for a Rule 5 or Draft-Excluded player), a club can claim a player off Outright Release Waivers for the miniscule sum of $1. However, a club that claims a player off Release Waivers is responsible for paying 100% of the player's remaining salary, whereas if the same club waits until the player clears Release Waivers, the club can sign the player for the MLB minimum salary (or prorated portion of the MLB minimum salary), with the player's former club responsible for the balance.

A player who is claimed off Outright Release Waivers has the option to decline the assignment and become a free-agent (he has up to five days to decide). For most players, refusing an Outright Release waiver claim means the player's contract is terminated with no severance and his former club owes him nothing (same as an Article XX-D minor league FA who refuses an Outright Assignment), but for a player with "no trade" rights who refuses an Outright Release waiver claim, the player is owed his full salary for the balance of the contract, same as if he had not been claimed.

A player on an MLB 40-man roster who is released 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, and a player on an MLB 40-man roster who is released anytime during the period of time extending from September 1st through March 31st cannot be added back to the MLB 40-man roster (or MLB 25-man Active List) of the club that released the player until May 15th. Note that while a player who is "non-tendered" on 12/2 becomes a free-agent, it is not considered the same thing as an outright release, so a club can re-sign a non-tendered player to a Major League contract (or minor league contract) without any restrictions anytime after the player is non-tendered. Thus, December 2nd is a sort of roster "island oasis" in the middle of the off-season where a club can drop a player from its MLB Reserve List (including injured players) without having to worry about waivers or restrictions on off-season outright assignments or outright release.

A player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released more than 15 days prior to Opening Day receives 30 days salary as termination pay (paid at the "minor league rate" if the player is signed to a "split contract"), and a player on an MLB Reserve List signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released 15 or fewer days prior to Opening Day receives 45 days salary as termination pay (all players paid at the "Major League rate"). A player on an MLB Reserve List signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released during the MLB regular season receives 100% of his salary as termination pay (paid at the "minor league rate" for players on Optional Assignment to the minors). An unsigned player on an MLB Reserve List released during the off-season receives no termination pay.

A Rule 5 player cannot be released until Rule 5 restrictions have been removed, and if Rule 5 restrictions have been removed and the player is released, the player's termination pay is always paid at the "Major League rate" as long as he is released prior to being outrighted to the minors.

Outright Release Waivers cannot be requested on a player while he is on the Bereavement List, Military List, Suspended List, Disqualified List, or Ineligible List. 

A club cannot option a player signed to a "split contract" to the minors if the purpose of the assignment is to release the player and avoid paying termination pay at the "Major League rate."

A player is automatically & immediately removed from his club's Reserve List (40-man roster) and Active List when placed on Outright Release Waivers.

 

 

 

Designated for Assignment (DFA)

Sometimes a club wants to remove a player from its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), but it has to be done immediately because the player's roster slot is needed. Or sometimes a club wants to remove a player only from its MLB Active List (25-man roster), but Optional Assignment Waivers must be secured before the player can be optioned to the minors. In those cases, a club can place a player on the Designated List.

When a player is placed on the Designated List (and is "Designated for Assignment"), the "Designated Player" is removed from his club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), and then the club has up to ten days to either trade, release, non-tender, or outright the player to the minors. A club can also return a Designated Player to the 40-man roster and either option the player to the minors or reinstate the player to the 25-man roster, as long as the Designated Player is not replaced on the 40-man roster by another player while the player is on the Designated List. (A club might have to DFA a player to buy time while it attempts to secure Optional Assignment Waivers).

A player on Optional Assignment to the minors must be "Recalled - Not to Report" before he can be Designated for Assignment.  

The player continues to be paid and the player accrues MLB Service Time while on the Designated List.

Also, a player acquired off waivers can be placed back onto Outright Waivers by his new club and can be outrighted to the minors if he is not claimed, but if a club acquires a player off waivers and the claiming club's 40-man roster is full so that the club needs to remove a player from its MLB Reserve List in order to open a spot on its 40-man roster for the newly-acquired player, the player who was claimed off waivers cannot be the player who gets "Designated for Assignment."

Recalled - Not to Report

Before a player on Optional Assignment to the minors can be traded or Designated for Assignment, he must be recalled from his minor league assignment ("Recalled - Not to Report").

If a player who was "Recalled - Not to Report" is claimed off waivers while on the Designated List and either the waivers are irrevocable (Outright Assignment Waivers) or the player's club elects not to withdraw a revocable waiver request, the player is assigned to the claiming club.

A player acquired off waivers after being "Recalled - Not to Report" who is subsequently optioned to the minors by his new club must remain on Optional Assignment for a minimum of ten days, unless he is recalled to replace a player on his club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) who is placed on an MLB Inactive List (Disabled List, Bereavement List, Paternity List, etc), or the player is recalled as a "26th Man" for a doublheader scheduled at least 48 hours in advance, or the player's minor league season is over, or the player gets traded. However, if a player is traded after being "Recalled - Not to Report" and then is optioned to the minors by his new club within 24 hours after the trade, the player can be recalled (without any restriction) prior to spending ten days on optional assignment to the minors.

A player who is "Recalled - Not to Report" for the purpose of being Designated for Assignment accrues MLB Service Time equal to the number of days he is on the Designated List prior to being traded, released, or sent outright to the minors.

Inactive Lists

There are a number of inactive lists used by MLB clubs. 

Disabled Lists

Only players with a verified injury or illness may be placed on a disabled list.

A player placed on the Disabled List (MLB 15-day DL or minor league 7-day DL, or MLB 7-day DL for players who have suffered a concussion) does not count against his club's Active List, but he does count against his club's Reserve List. A player can be placed on the MLB 15-day DL no earlier than nine days prior to MLB Opening Day, and a player can be placed on a minor league 7-day DL no earlier than the start of his club's regular season. As long as the player did not appear in a game during the retroactive period, an MLB 15-day DL assignment can be backdated up to ten days during the season, and to a date no more than nine days prior to the start of the MLB regular season if the player is placed on the 15-day DL during Spring Training. A 7-day DL assignment can be backdated no more than four days.

A player's assignment to the MLB 7-day DL (for MLB players who have suffered a concussion) can be renewed once. If an MLB 7-day DL assignment is renewed and then the player is not reinstated within 15 days of initially being placed on the MLB 7-day DL, the player is automatically transferred to his club's 15-day DL.

A player placed on the Emergency Disabled List (60-day DL) does not count against his club's Active List or Reserve List. A player can be placed on the MLB Emergency Disabled List (60-day DL) during Spring Training or anytime during the MLB regular season (a minor league player can be placed on a minor league club's 60-day DL only during the regular season), and a player can be transferred from the MLB 15-day DL to the MLB 60-day DL (or minor league 7-day DL to minor league 60-day DL). However, a player cannot be moved back to the MLB 15-day DL (and a minor league player cannot be moved back to the 7-day DL) once he is placed on the 60-day DL, and a player cannot be placed on the 60-day DL or transferred to the 60-day DL from the MLB 15-day DL (or minor league 7-day DL) unless his club's Reserve List is full.

For a player who is transferred from the MLB 15-day DL to the MLB 60-day DL (or from a minor league club's 7-day DL to the minor league club's 60-day DL), time spent on the MLB 15-day DL (or minor league 7-day DL) prior to being transferred counts toward the minimum 60 days a player must spend on the Emergency Disabled List.

Any player on an MLB 60-day DL who is eligible to be an Article XX-B MLB free-agent must be reinstated from the DL no later than 9 AM (Eastern) on the day after the conclusion of the World Series, and all other players on an MLB 60-day DL must be reinstated to the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) no later than 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series, even if the player did not spend 60 days on the DL. All players on a minor league 60-day DL must be reinstated to the minor league club's Reserve List no later than the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, even if the player did not spend 60 days on the DL.

In most cases a player on a disabled list can be traded, even if the player is not eligible to be reinstated and/or healthy enough to play. The one exception is if Trade Assignment Waivers must be secured before the player can be traded. In that case (only), the player must be eligible to be reinstated from the Disabled List AND healthy enough to play before the player can be placed on waivers. Otherwise the disabled player would have to remain a "Player to Be Named Later" until the conclusion of the MLB regular season.

If a player on a disabled list is traded, the player can be transferred directly from his former club's 7-day, 15-day, or 60-day DL to the corresponding DL of his new club. Time spent on a 7-day, 15-day, or 60-day DL prior to the trade counts toward the minimum number of days required before the player is eligible to be reinstated.  

If a player on an MLB 60-day DL is claimed off waivers after conclusion of the MLB regular season, the player can be transferred directly to the 60-day DL of his new club. 



 

Minor League Rehabilitation Assignment

With the player's consent, an MLB player on the 7-day DL may be assigned to a minor league club for rehabilitation purposes for up to five days (or maximum eight days for a pitcher), and an MLB player on the 15-day or 60-day DL may be assigned to a minor league club for rehabilitation purposes for up to 20 days (or maximum 30 days for a pitcher).

A player on a minor league "rehab" assignment continues to accrue MLB service time, and does not count against a minor league club's Active Roster.

A minor league player on a 7-day or 60-day DL may be assigned to Extended Spring Training for rehabilitation purposes prior to the start of the minor league "short season" in June, or to a "short-season" minor league club for rehabilitation purposes for up to 20 days (or maximum 30 days for pitchers) after the conclusion of Extended Spring Training.  (If a player on a DL of a minor league club is assigned to a "short season" club for "rehab" purposes, the club to which the player is assigned must be in a league with a lower classification than the player's club). A minor league player on a "rehab" assignment does not count against the Reserve List or Active Roster of the club to which he is assigned. (There is no roster limit at Extended Spring Training).

A maximum of three "rehab" players may be assigned to any one minor league club at the same time, but there is no limit to the number of "rehab" players who may be assigned to Extended Spring Training.

 

Bereavement List

A player can be placed on the Bereavement List when the player leaves his club as the result of an illness or death in his immediate family. 

A player cannot be placed on the Bereavement List to attend the birth of a child.

A player must remain on the Bereavement List for at least three days, but no more than seven days.

The Bereavement List functions just like the 7-day or 15-day DL, in that a player on Bereavement Leave does not count against his club's Active List, so he can be replaced by another player while on the Bereavement List. He does count against his club's Reserve List (40-man roster), however, 

MLB players on the Bereavement List continue to accrue MLB service time.

Paternity List

A player can be placed on the Paternity List when he leaves his club to attend the birth of his child. 

A player must remain on the Paternity List for at least 24 hours, but no more than 72 hours.

The Paternity List functions like a Disabled List or Bereavement List, in that a player on Paternity Leave does not count against his club's Active List, so he can be replaced by another player while on the Paternity List. He does count against his club's Reserve List (40-man roster), however.

An MLB player continues to accrue MLB service time while on the list.

Temporarily Inactive List (Minor Leagues Only)

The Temporarily Inactive List is essentially an in-season excused Leave of Absence. Only minor league players (including players on Optional Assignment to the minors) can be placed on this list. 

A player on the Temporarily Inactive List does not count against his club's Active List, but he does count against the club's Reserve List. (If a minor league club's Reserve List is full, a player who ordinarily would have been placed on the Temporarily Inactive List can be placed on the Restricted List instead, but placing a player on the Restricted List does require the approval of the MLB Commissioner).

A player cannot be placed on the Temporarily Inactive List any earlier than the start of his club's regular season, the player must remain on the Temporarily Inactive List for at least three days, and a player on the Temporarily Inactive List must be reinstated no later than the conclusion of his club's season.

A player normally is not paid while on the Temporarily Inactive List (club option).

 

 

Voluntary Retired List

A player who submits written notice of retirement while under contract to a club or while under club control can be placed on the Voluntary Retired List.

A player on the Voluntary Retired List does not get paid while on the list, does not accrue service time, and does not count against the club's Active List or Reserve List.

A player on the Voluntary Retired List must spend at least 60 days of the regular season on the list before he can apply for reinstatement. If the player is placed on the Voluntary Retired List within 60 days of the conclusion of the regular season, the balance of the 60 days would carry-over into the next season.

Restricted List

The Restricted List is essentially an excused but unpaid absence, although a club can pay the player while he is on the Restricted List if the club so chooses.

A player on the Restricted List does not count against his club's Active List or Reserve List, and a player who is on the Restricted List for any reason other than a suspension for violation of the ban on the use of a prohibited substance does not accrue Service Time while on the Restricted List. (A player who is suspended for violation of the ban on the use of a prohibited substance is automatically placed on the Restricted List by MLB, and the suspended player does accrue MLB or minor league service time if placed on the Restricted List for this reason).

Besides a suspension related to a violation of the ban on the use of a prohibited substance, other reasons why a player might be placed on the Restricted List would include an absence due to an illness or death in the family where the absence exceeds the seven-day Bereavement List limit, failing to report to Spring Training, or if a player is serving a prison sentence, or is attending college or pursuing a career in another sport or profession, or if a player from a foreign country is unable to secure a U. S. work visa.

A player who is on the Restricted List as the result of a suspension related to a violation of the ban on the use of a prohibited substance is not eligible to participate in post-season play (LDS, LCS, and World Series, and/or minor league playoffs) until he has finished serving his suspension and has been reinstated from the Restricted List, and post-season games (LDS, LCS, and World Series, and minor league playoffs) and Spring Training games missed while on the Restricted List do not count toward the number of games required to be missed by the player in order to complete the suspension. 

A player who is on the Restricted List as the result of a suspension related to a violation of the ban on the use of a prohibited substance may participate in Spring Training, Extended Spring Training, and post-season Instructional Leagues, but a suspended player is not eligible to participate in the Arizona Fall League (AFL).

Prior to being reinstated, an MLB player who is on the Restricted List as the result of a suspension related to a violation of the ban on the use of a prohibited substance may consent to an assignment to a minor league affiliate of his club for no more than five days (eight days for pitchers) if the player is serving a suspension of 25 games or less, or for no more than ten days (15 days for pitchers) if the player is serving a suspension greater than 25 games.

An MLB player who is on the Restricted List for any reason other than extended Bereavement Leave or a suspension for violation of the ban on the use of a prohibited substance cannot be reinstated from the Restricted List from August 1st through October 31st, and a minor league player on the Restricted List for any reason other than extended Bereavement Leave or a suspension for violation of the ban on the use of a prohibited substance cannot be reinstated from the Restricted List from August 1st through the end of his club's season (including post-season).

A player on the Restricted List must be added back to his club's Reserve List within 30 days of reinstatement or when he is placed on the club's Active List (whichever comes first), or by Opening Day of the following season if the player is reinstated during the off season, but if the player is assigned to another club after reinstatement he must be placed on that club's Reserve List immediately.

 

 

Military List

A player can be placed on the Military List after being called to active duty (this includes foreign players called to active duty with their home country's military).

A player on the Military List does not count against his club's Active Roster or Reserve List, but the player does accrue service time.

A player on the Military List must be reinstated when the player is released from active duty, and must be added back to his club's Reserve List within 15 days after physically reporting to his club.

Suspended List

An MLB player on the Suspended List counts against both his club's Active List (25-man roster) and Reserve List (40-man roster), while a minor league player on the Suspended List counts against his club's Reserve List but does not count against his club's Active List. (A player on an MLB 40-man roster who is placed on the Suspended List while on Optional Assignment to the minors does not count against his club's MLB 25-man roster or the minor league club's Active List).

A player on the Suspended List continues to accrue service time.

NOTE: When an MLB player is placed on the Suspended List, a grievance is usually filed by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) on behalf of the suspended player because the player does not get paid while on the list. The main instance where it is used is when a player is suspended by the league as the result of an on-field incident, but it can also be initiated by the player's own club in the case of unacceptable behavior (such as a player getting into an altercation with his manager, a teammate, or a fan), or a violation of team rules related to chronic tardiness, possession of alcohol or reporting to work intoxicated, missing a doctor's appointment, et al. The Suspended List is used more liberally in the minor leagues, mainly because minor league players don't have the protection of a union.

Disqualified List

A player can be placed on the Disqualified List if he violates the terms of his contract (usually involving a refusal to render service and/or an unexcused absence).

A player can be placed on the Disqualified List only with the approval of the MLB Commissioner.

A player on the Disqualified List does not count against the club's Active List or Reserve List, and he does not accrue service time or get paid while on the list.

An MLB player on the Disqualified List cannot be reinstated from August 1st through October 31st, and a minor league player on the Disqualified List cannot be reinstated from August 1st through to the end of his club's season (including post-season).

A player reinstated from the Disqualified List must be added back to his club's Reserve List within 30 days if he is reinstated prior to August 1st, or by Opening Day if the player is reinstated from the Disqualified List during the off-season. 

If a player is assigned to another club after reinstatement he must be placed on that club's Reserve List immediately.

Ineligible List

The MLB Ineligible List is the "capital punishment" of baseball, reserved for individuals who have been indefinitely or permanently banned from baseball, usually related to throwing games, betting on baseball, or consorting with gamblers, but it also could involve something like embezzlement of funds, or a significant drug-related offense, or a hate crime, or some heinous activity.

Individuals are placed on the Ineligible List by the MLB Commissioner, and once placed on the Ineligible List a player must remain on the list for at least one year.

A player on the Ineligible List does not count against his club's Active List or Reserve List, and he does not accrue service time or get paid while on the list.

An MLB player on the Ineligible List cannot be reinstated from August 1st through October 31st, and a minor league player on the Ineligible List cannot be reinstated from August 1st through the end of his club's season (including post-season).

A player reinstated from the Ineligible List must be added back to his club's Reserve List within 30 days if he is reinstated prior to August 1st, or by Opening Day if the player is reinstated from the Ineligible List during the off-season.

If a player is assigned to another club after reinstatement he must be placed on that club's Reserve List immediately.

 

Post-Season Roster Eligibility

1. All players on a club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) as of midnight (Eastern) on August 31st are eligible to be included on the club's post-season (LDS, LCS, or World Series) 25-man roster. Players who are on an MLB club's Disabled List, Bereavement List, Paternity List, Military List, Suspended List, or Restricted List (Prohibited Substance Suspension or extended Bereavement Leave only) as of midnight (Eastern) on August 31st are also eligible to be included on the club's post-season 25-man roster, but only after spending the minimum number of days required to be served by a player on that list. Players on the Disqualified List, Ineligible List, or Restricted List (for reasons other than extended Bereavement Leave or a Prohibited Substance Suspension) as of midnight August 31st are not eligible. Thus, as long as more than 25 players are eligible, the club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) can be "tweaked" prior to the start of each post-season series.

2. Generally, a post-season eligible player who is on an MLB Disabled List (7-day, 15-day, or 60-day) at the conclusion of the MLB regular season can be replaced on his club's LDS, LCS, or World Series Active List (25-man roster) by any player (regardless of position) who was in the club's organization as of midnight (Eastern) on August 31st, including players acquired from another organization prior to midnight on August 31st and minor leaguers who were not on the club's MLB 40-man roster at that time. Any player who is placed directly onto an MLB 60-day Disabled List after August 1st is NOT eligible to be replaced on a post-season roster (and is not eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day DL and placed onto the club's MLB Active List until 60 days have passed), but a player who is transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL after August 1st is eligible to be replaced. Players on the Disqualified List, Ineligible List, or Restricted List (for reasons other than extended Bereavement Leave or a Prohibited Substance Suspension) as of midnight (Eastern) on August 31st are not eligible to be a "replacement player." A player who is on a Disabled List or who is serving a Prohibited Substance Suspension cannot be a post-season "replacement player" until the player has served the required minimum number of days (if on a DL) or games (if suspended). If the "replacement player" is on a minor league reserve list, the player must be added to his club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) before he can be made eligible for the post-season. 

3. A post-season eligible player who is injured prior to the start of a post-season series can (with approval of the MLB Commissioner) be replaced on his club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) for that series by another player (regardless of position) who was in the club's organization as of midnight August 31st, including players acquired from another organizaiton prior to midnight August 31st and minor league players who were not on the club's MLB 40-man roster at that time. Players on the Disqualified List, Ineligible List, or Restricted List (for reasons other than extended Bereavement Leave or a Prohibnited Substance Suspension) as of midnight August 31st are not eligible to be a "replacement player." A player who is on a Disabled List or who is serving a Prohibited Substance Suspension cannot be a post-season "replacement player" until the player has served the required minimum number of days (if on a DL) or games (if suspended). If a replacement player is on a minor league reserve list, the player must be added to his club's 40-man roster before he can be made eligible for the post-season.   

4. A post-season eligible player who is injured during a post-season series can (with approval of the MLB Commissiner) be replaced on his club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) prior to the conclusion of that series by another player (albeit in this case a pitcher must replace a pitcher and a position player must replace a position player) who was in the club's organization as of midnight August 31st, including players acquired from another organizaton prior to midnight August 31st and minor league players who were not on the club's MLB 40-man at that time. Players on the Disqualified List, Ineligible List, or Restricted List (for reasons other than extended Bereavement Leave or a Prohibnited Substance Suspension) as of midnight August 31st are not eligible to be a "replacement player." A player who is on a Disabled List or who is serving a Prohibited Substance Suspension cannot be a post-season "replacement player" until the player has served the required minimum number of days (if on a DL) or games (if suspended). If a replacement player is on a minor league reserve list, the player mustr be added to his club's 40-man roster before he can be made eligible for the post-season.

5. If an injured pitcher or position player is replaced during a post-season series, the injured pitcher or position player is ineligible to be reinstated to his club's Active List (25-man roster) for the balance of that series and the next series (LCS or World Series).

 

Amateur & International Talent Acquisition

The variety of ways that organizations can bring in talent domestically or internationally.

First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft)

The First-Year Player Draft (or "MLB Rule 4 Draft") is held annually over a three-day period in June.

There are 40 rounds (there were 50 rounds prior to 2012), and draft order is based upon the inverse order of winning percentages from the previous season. If the winning percentages of two or more clubs are the same, the club with the lowest winning percentage from the previous season picks first. If two or more clubs are still tied, league standings from two years back (or three years back, four years back, etc) are used to break the tie.

Article XX-B Free-Agent Compensation draft picks are slotted in the Supplemental 1st Round of the MLB Rule 4 Draft pick (between the 1st and 2nd rounds), and the 12 Competitive Balance Rule 4 Draft picks that are awarded annually are slotted in two groups (six of the Competitive Balance picks are slotted immediately after the Article XX-B Free-Agent Compensation draft picks in the Supplemental 1st Round, and the other six Competitive Balance picks are slotted in the Supplemental 2nd Round between the 2nd and 3rd rounds).  

 

 

First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) Eligibility

An individual is eligible for selection in the First-Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft) if the person has not previously signed an MLB or minor league contract, and is either a resident of a U. S. state or territory or Canada, or is not a resident but was enrolled in a high school or college in a U. S. state or territory or Canada within the previous year, and  

1. Has graduated from high school; or

2. High school athletic eligibility has expired; or

3. Dropped out of high school at least 365 days prior to the draft; or

4. Attended a junior college the previous school year; or

5. Is attending a four-year college and has completed at least junior year of athletic eligibility, or

6. Is attending a four-year college and is age 21 or older (or will turn 21 within 45 days of the draft); or

7. Was dismissed from a four-year college for academic reasons; or

8. Withdrew from a four-year college at least 120 days prior to the draft,

 

  

 

First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) Negotiation List

Players selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) are placed on a club's Negotiation List.

In most cases, a player selected by a club in the Rule 4 Draft will remain on the club's Negotiation List until either the player signs, or until 5:00 PM (EDT) on the Friday that falls during the week July 12-18 (whichever comes first), and if a club does not sign a Rule 4 Draft pick by the deadline, the player is removed from the club's Negotiation List and becomes eligible for selection again in the next Rule 4 Draft in which the player would be eligible for selection. The exception to this rule is any college senior with no baseball eligibility left. This class of player remains on the club's Negotiation List until the player signs or until one week prior to the next Rule 4 Draft (whichever comes first).

Also, any player eligible for selection in the Rule 4 Draft who is not drafted ("Non-Drafted Free-Agent" or "NDFA") can sign with any club after the conclusion of the draft any time up until one week prior to the next Rule 4 Draft, unless and until the NDFA enrolls in a junior college or four-year college, in which case MLB Rule 4 Draft eligibility requirements apply.

A player selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft or a Rule 4 eligible NDFA cannot be signed to a Major League contract.

A player selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft or a Rule 4 eligible NDFA can be "Signed for Future Service" (contract is for the following season) if the player signs a contract after July 1st.

A club is not permitted to select a player in the Rule 4 Draft two years in a row, unless the player gives his approval in advance.

CUBS NEGOTIATION LIST (updated 7-12-2013):
Josh McCauley, RHP (Shepherd U.) - SR - NO COLLEGE ELIGIBILITY LEFT
Tyler Sciacca, 2B (Villanova) - SR - NO COLLEGE ELIGIBILITY LEFT

 

First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) Signing Bonus Pool

There is a maximum limit on the aggregate amount of money that each club can pay as signing bonuses to players selected in a First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) before penalties begin to accrue.

Prior to the Rule 4 Draft, each MLB club is assigned a “Signing Bonus Pool” (SBP) equal to the aggregate pre-assigned bonus value of all of the club’s draft slots in the first ten rounds (including supplemental draft picks); the higher the slot, the higher the bonus value. (The collective MLB SBP is determined in advance by calculating industry revenues). If a club fails to sign a player selected in the first ten rounds (including supplemental draft picks), the value of that slot is deducted from the club’s SBP. There is no bonus value assigned to draft slots after the 10th round, but if a club pays a signing bonus in excess of $100,000 to a player selected in the 11th round or later or to a player eligible for selection who was not drafted, the amount of that bonus in excess of $100,000 is deducted from the club’s SBP.

If a club exceeds its SBP in a given Rule 4 Draft, a tax will be assessed and future Rule 4 Draft picks could be forfeited, depending on how much the club exceeded its SBP. (The club’s 1st Round draft pick in the next Rule 4 Draft is forfeited if the club exceeds its SBP by 5-10%, its 1st & 2nd round draft picks in the next Rule 4 Draft are forfeited if the club exceeds its SBP by 10-15%, and the club’s 1st Round picks in the next two Rule 4 Drafts are forfeited if the club exceeds its SBP by more than 15%).

Money collected from the tax on clubs that exceed their SBP will be distributed to qualifying clubs as Revenue Sharing funds, and forfeited draft picks will be reassigned by lottery. (Any club that exceeds its SBP is excluded from the lottery).

Rule 4 Compensation Draft Picks

If a player selected in the 1st or 2nd round of the Rule 4 Draft does not sign, the club receives an extra compensation selection in the next Rule 4 Draft, one slot lower in the 1st or 2nd round than where the club selected the previous season.

If a player selected in the 3rd round of the draft does not sign, the club receives an extra compensation selection between the 3rd & 4th rounds in the next Rule 4 Draft, with clubs selecting in inverse order of league standings from the previous season. (In the case of two clubs finishing with the same winning percentage the previous season, league standings from two seasons back will be used to break the tie. If the clubs are still tied, league standings from three seasons back, four seasons back, etc, will be used to break the tie).

A club would receive another compensation pick in the next Rule 4 Draft after that (one slot lower than the slot where the unsigned player was selected in the previous draft) if a player selected with an extra compensation pick does not sign, but there is no additional compensation pick awarded the following season (three years removed from the original draft pick) if a club is unable to sign that player.

Compensation draft picks awarded to clubs for losing an Article XX-B MLB Free-Agent (Qualified Player) will be slotted between the 1st and 2nd rounds of the next MLB Rule 4 Draft, with clubs selecting in inverse order of league standings from the previous season. (In the case of two clubs finishing with the same winning percentage the previous season, league standings from two seasons back will be used to break the tie. If the clubs are still tied, league standings from three seasons back, four seasons back, etc, will be used to break the tie).

If a player selected with a draft pick awarded as the result of a club losing a Qualified Player does not sign, the club receives a compensation selection between the 1st & 2nd rounds in the next Rule 4 Draft, one slot lower than where the club selected the previous season. There is no further compensation if a player selected with that compensation draft pick does not sign. 

 

 

Rule 4 Competitive Balance Draft Picks

Beginning in 2012, six "Competitive Balance" Rule 4 Draft picks will be awarded by lottery between the 1st and 2nd round, and six more will be awarded by lottery between the 2nd and 3rd round. The lottery will take place on the Monday following the Rule 4 Draft signing deadline. Only MLB clubs that receive revenue sharing and clubs from the ten smallest markets will be eligible to participate in the lottery for Competitive Balance picks.

Once awarded, these draft picks can be traded, but only during the MLB regular season, and the pick cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade. Also, a Competitive Balance draft pick can be traded only once (only by the club that was awarded the pick). Once traded, the pick cannot be "flipped" to a third club.

If a player selected with a Competitive Balance Draft pick does not sign, the club receives a compensation selection in the next Rule 4 Draft, one slot lower between the 1st or 2nd round than where the club selected the previous season. There is no further compensation if a player selected with a Competitive Balance compensation draft pick does not sign.

 

 

Rule 4 SBP Forfeited Draft Picks

A club could forfeit its 1st round draft pick or its 1st and 2nd rounds draft picks if the club exceeds its pre-assigned Rule 4 Draft SBP limit in a given year or over multiple years. A Rule 4 Draft pick forfeited because a club exceeded its Rule 4 Draft bonus limit will be reassigned to another club by lottery held on the same day as the Competitive Balance draft pick lottery. All MLB clubs that did not exceed its SBP limit are eligible to participate in this lottery.

As with the Competitive Balance draft pick lottery, Rule 4 forfeited draft picks can be traded, but only during the MLB regular season, and the pick cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade. Also, a Rule 4 forfeited draft pick can be traded only once (only by the club that was awarded the pick). Once traded, the pick cannot be "flipped" to a third club.

If a player selected with a Rule 4 forfeited draft pick does not sign, the club receives a compensation selection in the next Rule 4 Draft, one slot lower than the forfeited draft pick slot from the previous season. There is no further compensation if a player selected with a compensation Rule 4 forfeited draft pick does not sign.

 

International First-Year Players - Eligibility & Restrictions

The "International Signing Period" extends from July 2nd through June 15th of the following year.

Any individual who is age 17 or older, has not previously signed an MLB or minor league contract, resides outside the U. S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, and has not been enrolled in a high school or college in the U. S., Canada, or Puerto Rico within the previous year, can be signed during the ""International Signing Period." Also, a 16-year old international player can be signed if the individual will turn 17 prior to September 1st or prior to the conclusion of the minor league season (whichever comes first).

An international player can be "Signed for Future Service" (contract is for the following season) if the player signs a contract July 2nd up through the conclusion of the MLB regular season.  

In addition, a 16-year old international player who otherwise would not be eligible to sign can be "Signed for Future Service" (that is, signed for the next season) if the player signs a contract July 2nd through August 31st.

No international player can be signed during the period of time extending from June 16th through July 1st.

International Signing Bonus Pool

There is a maximum limit on the aggregate amount of money each MLB club can pay as signing bonuses to international first-year players before penalties begin to accrue.

Each MLB club is assigned an International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) for each International Signing Period (ISP). A club’s ISBP is based upon the club’s winning percentage from the previous season. (Clubs that finish with lower winning percentages will receive a larger ISBP than clubs with higher winning percentages, with the ISBP increasing inverse to the previous season’s standings). In the case of two clubs finishing with the same winning percentage the previous season, league standings from two seasons back will be used to break the tie. If the clubs are still tied, league standings from three seasons back, four seasons back, etc, will be used to break the tie.

A club's ISBP consists of four separate "Signing Bonus Values" (SBV) plus an additional $700,000. Each SBV corresponds to a particular "slot," and each slot is assigned a specific cash value (TBA prior to the start of the ISP).  

A Signing Bonus Value (SBV) can be traded, but with some restrictions:

1. An SBV can only be traded during the International Signing Period (ISP) to which the SBV was assigned (July 2nd through June 15th of the following year);

2. An SBV cannot be sold for cash. However, cash can be exchanged if it is used to offset the salary or salaries of a player or players acquired in return for the SBV;

3. An SBV cannot be substituted for a "Player to Be Named Later" (PTBNL);

4. The entire SBV must be assigned to the other club when it is traded;

5. A club may not acquire an SBV in a trade if the club has already paid signing bonuses equal to or in excess of its ISBP;

6. Once acquired, an SBV can be traded ("flipped") to a third club, as long as the third club has not already paid signing bonuses equal to or in excess of its ISBP;

7. A club's originally assigned ISBP can be increased by a maximum of 50%. If a club acquires an SBV in a trade that causes the club's ISBP to increase to an amount that is more than 50% above the club's originally-assigned ISBP, the portion of the SBV that caused the club's ISBP to increase to an amount that is more than 50% above the club's originally-assigned ISBP is subtracted from the SBV. 

A signing bonus paid to a first-year international player age 23 or older who has spent all or part of at least five seasons playing in an MLB-recognized foreign professional or "major" league does not count against the club’s ISBP. (A signing bonus paid to a first-year Cuban international player age 23 or older who has spent all or part of at least three seasons playing in Serie Nacional does not count against the club’s 2013-14 ISBP, then beginning with the 2014-15 ISP, a signing bonus paid to a first-year Cuban international player age 23 or older who has spent all or part of at least five seasons playing in Serie Nacional does not count against the club’s ISBP).

Also, a club’s six highest signing bonuses of $50,000 or less and ALL signing bonuses of $7,500 or less that are paid to first-year international players do not count against the club’s ISBP. (Beginning in July 2014, only signing bonuses of $10,000 or less that are paid to first-year international players will not count against a club’s ISBP).

The penalty for a club paying signing bonuses in excess of its ISBP is a tax (no draft picks are forfeited) and a restriction on bonuses that can be paid to international players during the next ISP:

1. A club that pays signing bonuses that exceed its 2013-14 ISBP by 5% or less must pay a 75% tax on the ISBP overage, but there are no restrictions on bonuses in the 2014-15 ISP; a club that pays signing bonuses that exceed its 2014-15 ISBP by 5% or less must pay a 100% tax on the ISBP overage, but there are no restrictions on bonuses in the 2015-16 ISP.

2. A club that pays signing bonuses that exceed its 2013-14 ISBP by 5-10% must pay a 75% tax on the ISBP overage, and is permitted to sign only one international first-year player to a bonus of $500K or more in the 2014-15 ISP; a club that pays signing bonuses that exceed its 2014-15 ISBP by 5-10% must pay a 100% tax on the ISBP overage, and no player may be signed to a bonus of $500K or more in the 2015-16 ISP.

3. A club that pays signing bonuses that exceed its 2013-14 ISBP by 10-15% must pay a 100% tax on the overage, and is prohibited from paying a bonus in excess of $500K to any international first-year player in the 2014-15 ISP; a club that pays signing bonuses that exceed its 2014-15 ISBP by 10-15% must pay a 100% tax on the ISBP overage, and no player may be signed to a bonus of $300K or more in the 2015-16 ISP.  

4. A club that pays signing bonuses that exceed its 2013-14 ISBP by 15%+ must pay a 100% tax on the overage, and is prohibited from paying a bonus in excess of $250K to any international first-year player in the next ISP; a club that pays signing bonuses that exceed its 2014-15 ISBP by 10-15% must pay a 100% tax on the ISBP overage, and no player may be signed to a bonus of $300K or more in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 ISPs. 

Money collected from the tax on clubs that exceed their ISBP will be used to further the development of international baseball.  

A player subject to ISBP restrictions cannot be signed to a Major League contract. 

 

Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Posting System

There are two Japanese major leagues, the Pacific League and the Central League. Together they are known as "Nippon Professional Baseball" (or "NPB").

Unless the player is released or signed by an MLB club after being posted, all NPB players remain under club control (the player is "reserved") for nine seasons. After the 9th season, the player becomes an unrestricted free-gent.

1. An NPB player who is not under the control of an NPB club can sign with any MLB club.

2. With the consent of the NPB club, an NPB player who is under club control can be "posted" (made available to be signed by an MLB club) anytime during a three-month period extending from November 1st to February 1st.

3. The NPB club decides in advance on the amount of the release fee it will be paid if the player signs with an MLB club (it can be any amount up to $20M), and all MLB clubs are notified of the posting by the MLB Commissioner.

4. Any MLB club willing to pay the release fee can negotiate with the NPB player during a 30-day period starting on the day after the player is posted.

5. If an MLB club signs a posted NPB player, the NPB club receives the designated release fee from that MLB club. The release fee can be paid in installments over an 18-month period, with the MLB club required to pay 50% of the release fee within 14 days of the submission of the posted player's contract, 17% of the release fee within six months of the submission of the posted player's contract, 17% of the release fee within 12 months of the submission of the posted player's contract, and 16% of the release fee within 18 months of the submission of the posted player's contract. (The release fee is not considered when calculating the MLB club's payroll).

6. If a posted NPB player does not sign with an MLB club within 30 days after being posted, the NPB club does not receive the release fee, and the player cannot be posted again until the next November 1st (unless he becomes an unrestricted free-agent in the meantime).

 

Minor League Roster Rules

1. An MLB club can automatically renew a minor league player's contract no more than six times, so a club can unilaterally control a minor league player (that is, a player not on an MLB 40-man roster) for no more than seven minor league seasons. For purposes of determining eligibility to be a free-agent, a player does not accrue a minor league season if the player spends the entire season on an MLB Active List, MLB Disabled List(s), and/or other MLB Inactive List, or if the player spends an entire season on the Restricted List, Disqualified List, Suspended List, Ineligible List, Voluntarily Retired List, and/or Military List. Also, participation in a post-season instructional league, Arizona Fall League, and/or winter league do not count toward a minor league season.

2. A free-agent with prior MLB and/or minor league service who signs a minor league contract must be added to a minor league Reserve List within 15 days, and is not eligible to play in a game until he is added to his minor league team's Reserve List and Active List.

3. With the consent of the player and the club, a player who has not previously signed an MLB or minor league contract may be "Signed for Future Service" (contract is for the following season) if the player signs a minor league contract after July 1st and is not placed on a minor league club's Active List prior to the conclusion of the Minor League season. (Attendance at a post-season Instructional League and/or participation in Instructional League games do not count).

3. A player who was eligible for selection in the First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) who signs a minor league contract after being selected in the previous Rule 4 Draft or as a Non-Drafted Free-Agent (NDFA) and who is not "Signed for Future Service" must be added to a minor league club's Active List within 15 days or when he plays in his first game (whichever comes first), but the player does not count against the minor league club's Reserve List until MLB and Minor League reserve lists are filed in November. The player cannot be released until he spends at least 15 days on a minor league active list.

5. An international player who has not previously signed an MLB or minor league contract MUST be "Signed for Future Service" (contract is for the following season) if the player signs a minor league contract after July 1st and the player does not turn 17 before September 1st or until after the conclusion of the regular season of the minor league club to which the player is assigned (whichever is later).

6. A player who is "Signed for Future Service" does not count against a minor league club's Active List or Reserve List until Opening Day of the following season.

7. A player who is "Signed for Future Service" cannot be released until he receives a 15-day trial in Spring Training.

 

Minor League Service Time & Roster Limits

For the purpose of determining minor league roster limits & restrictions, a minor league player accrues a year of "service time" for every season where the player spends at least 30 days on an MLB and/or minor league active list and/or disabled list, unless the player spent the entire season on the Disabled List.

Service time accrued by a player while assigned to a club or clubs in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) and/or Venezuelan Summer League (VSL) does not count when determining minor league roster limits and restrictions for minor league clubs in non-foreign affilated leagues.

A position player making a position change to pitcher or a pitcher making a position change to position player receives a one-year exemption from minor league service time restrictions. However, a position player being converted to a pitcher may not be used as a position player in a minor league game during the exempt year, and a pitcher being converted to a position player may not be used as a pitcher in a minor league game during the exempt year.

A player on a minor league "rehab" assignment does not count against the Active List or Reserve List of the affiliate to which he is assigned.

A maximum of three players on a minor league rehab assignment may be assigned to any one affiliate at any one time, but there is no limit to the number of players who can be on a minor league rehab assignment with the organization's Extended Spring Training and post-season Instructional League squads. 

CUBS MINOR LEAGUE AFFILATES:

IOWA (AAA):
38 players (RESERVE LIST) - 25 players (ACTIVE LIST) - no service time limit

TENNESSEE (AA):
37 players (RESERVE LIST) - 25 players (ACTIVE LIST) - no service time limit

DAYTONA (A+):
35 players (RESERVE LIST) - 25 players (ACTIVE LIST) - maximum two players with six or more years of service time, plus maximum one player-coach with six or more years of service time  

KANE COUNTY (A):
35 players (RESERVE LIST) - 25 players (ACTIVE LIST) - maximum two players with five or more years of service time 

BOISE (SS-A):
35 players (RESERVE LIST) - 30 players (ACTIVE LIST) - maximum three players with four or more years of service time 

AZL CUBS (R):
35 players (RESERVE LIST) - no players with three or more years of service time 

DSL CUBS (FR)
: 35 players (RESERVE LIST) - international players only (maximum two players from Puerto Rico), and no players with four or more years of DSL/VSL service time 

VSL CUBS (FR)
: 35 players (RESERVE LIST) - international players only (maximum two players from Puerto Rico), and no players with four or more years of DSL/VSL service time

Boise is permitted to designate 25 players as "active" for each game (at least ten must be pitchers beginning on July 1st), and the AZL Cubs, DSL Cubs, and VSL Cubs are permitted to designate 30 players "active" for each game (at least ten must be pitchers beginning on July 1st).

There is no Active List roster limit for the Cubs Extended Spring Training and post-season AZ Instructional League squads.

The Player Development Contracts (PDC) between the Cubs and their Tennessee, Daytona, Kane County, and Boise affiliates expire after the 2014 season, and the PDC between the Cubs and their Iowa affiliate expires after the 2016 season. (The Cubs own their AZL Cubs, DSL Cubs, and VSL Cubs affiliates, so there is no PDC between the Cubs and those three clubs).

 

Cubs Minor League Rosters

2014 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE ROSTERS (last updated 4-24-2014):

* bats or throws left 
# bats both


IOWA
 (25+8)

AAA

PITCHERS (13+5):  
* Jeffry Antigua
Dallas Beeler (EXST ACTIVE REHAB - 7-day DL)
Alberto Cabrera
Eduardo Figueroa
Marcus Hatley
Kyle Hendricks 
* Tommy Hottovy (INACTIVE - 7-day DL)
* Eric Jokisch 
Barret Loux (INACTIVE - 60-day DL - shoulder)
Marcos Mateo
Trey McNutt (INACTIVE - 60-day DL - shoulder)
Yoanner Negrin
Blake Parker
Carlos Pimentel
* Chris Rusin
* Jonathan Sanchez (INACTIVE - 7-day DL - shoulder)
Brian Schlitter
* Tsuyoshi Wada 

CATCHERS (2):
Luis Flores
Eli Whiteside

INFIELDERS (7+1):
# Arismendy Alcantara 
* Lars Anderson
Javier Baez 
Edgar Gonzalez (INACTIVE - 7-day DL -  calf)
Jonathon Mota
Chris Valaika
Christian Villanueva
* Logan Watkins

OUTFIELDERS (3+2):
* Chris Coghlan
* Brett Jackson (INACTIVE - 7-day DL - oblique)
Matt Szczur
Josh Vitters  
Casey Wells (INACTIVE - 7-day DL - knee)

TENNESSEE (25+3):

AA

PITCHERS (12+2):
Corey Black
Lendy Castillo (INACTIVE - 7-day DL)
* Hunter Cervenka 
C. J. Edwards
P. J. Francescon 
Pierce Johnson 
* Austin Kirk (INACTIVE - 7-day DL)
Matt Loosen
* Jeff Lorick 
Ivan Pineyro  
Dae-Eun Rhee 
Armando Rivero
Ryan Searle 
Tony Zych 

CATCHERS (3):
* Charlie Cutler
Taylor Davis 
* Rafael Lopez 

INFIELDERS (5):
Stephen Bruno 
Kris Bryant 
* Wes Darvill
Dustin Geiger
Jeudy Valdez 

OUTFIELDERS
 (5+1):
John Andreoli 
# Zeke DeVoss
Anthony Giansanti  
Jae-Hoon Ha
* Rubi Silva  
Jorge Soler (EXST LIMITED ACTIVITY REHAB - 7-day DL - hamstring)


DAYTONA
 (26+5)

Hi-A 

PITCHERS (13+3): 
Marcelo Carreno (INACTIVE - 7-day DL - 2013 shoulder surgery)
Zach Cates
Josh Conway (EXST ACTIVE REHAB - 7-day DL - 2013 elbow stress fracture)
* Michael Heesch (INACTIVE - 7-day DL)
Michael Jensen 
* Andrew McKirahan
Felix Pena
Steve Perakslis
Starling Peralta
Austin Reed
Jose Rosario
Tayler Scott
Yao-Lin Wang
Ben Wells
Arodys Vizcaino 
* Rob Zastryzny

CATCHERS (2+2): 
Willson Contreras
Chadd Krist
Lance Rymel (INACTIVE - 7-day DL)
Nate Maldonado (INACTIVE - player-coach) 

INFIELDERS (7):
Gioskar Amaya 
# Jeimer Candelario 
* Marco Hernandez
Giuseppe Papaccio
Tim Saunders 
* Rock Shoulders
* Dan Vogelbach 

OUTFIELDERS (4):
Albert Almora
* Pin-Chieh Chen
* Bijan Rademacher
# Oliver Zapata


KANE COUNTY
 (25+4):

Lo-A 

PITCHERS (13+3)
Jason Amlung
Jose Arias
Paul Blackburn
Tyler Bremer
* Gerardo Concepcion 
Josh Davis
* Nathan Dorris 
Zach Godley
Dillon Maples (INACTIVE - 7-day DL - broken rib)
Trey Masek (EXST ACTIVE REHAB - 7-day DL)
Juan Carlos Paniagua  
James Pugliese (INACTIVE - 7-day DL)
Tyler Skulina
Daury Torrez 
Jen-Ho Tseng
Duane Underwood  

CATCHERS (2+1):
Cael Brockmeyer (INACTIVE - 7-day DL)
Ben Carhart
Will Remillard

INFIELDERS (6):
David Bote
* Danny Canela  
* Jordan Hankins
* Danny Lockhart 
Carlos Penalver
* Jacob Rogers

OUTFIELDERS (4):  
Yasiel Balaguert
* Shawon Dunston Jr 
* Jake Hannemann
Trey Martin

++++++++++++++++++++++++

LOANED TO TIJUANA (Mexican League):
Frank Batista. P  

++++++++++++++++++++++++

PRESENT STATUS UNKNOWN:
Mike Hamann, P (was not on field at Minor League Camp)
* Brian Smith, P (was not on field at Minor League Camp)

===================

EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING (70 players are at EXST - 57 players are ACTIVE)

NOTEThe Boise/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) squad formed at the end of Minor League Camp, and consists of players who were left behind in Arizona to provide a replacement cadre in case of an injury to a player at Kane County, Daytona, Tennessee, and/or Iowa during the first two months of the season, inexperienced players who are competing for jobs with one of the "short season" teams that begin league play in June, and MLB and minor league players getting into playing shape and/or rehabbing from an injury. 

ACTIVE PITCHERS (31): 
Adbert Alzolay
Dallas Beeler (ACTIVE REHAB)
Francisco Carrillo
Trevor Clifton
Josh Conway (ACTIVE REHAB - 2013 elbow stress fracture)
* Alberto Diaz
* Andin Diaz
Greyfer Eregua
* Frailyn Figueroa
Scott Frazier
Kyuji Fujikawa (ACTIVE REHAB - 2013 TJS)
David Garner
Trevor Graham
Zak Hermans
Luis Hernandez
Corbin Hoffner
* Tyler Ihrig
Trey Lang 
Erick Leal
Carlos Llano
Ryan McNeil (ACTIVE REHAB - 2013 TJS)
Jeferson Mejia
Yomar Morel 
Erling Moreno
* Jose Paulino
Hector Perez 
Joel Pineiro 
Jasvir Rakkar
Brad Renner
Vctor Salazar
Michael Wagner

LIMITED ACTIVITY REHAB PITCHERS: (11):
Marcelo Carreno (2013 shoulder surgery)
Jesus Castillo 
* Michael Heesch 
Barret Loux (shoulder) 
Dillon Maples (rib injury)
Trey Masek
Trey McNutt (shoulder)   
* Anthony Prieto
Alexander Santana
* Sam Wilson
Jose Zapata

CATCHERS
 (7)
Tyler Alamo
# Erick Castillo
# Mark Malave 
* Justin Marra
* Alberto Mineo 
Antonio Valerio 
Eufran Vargas

INFIELDERS: (10+1)
# Roney Alcala
* Zak Blair
# Varonex Cuevas 
* Bryant Flete
Jesse Hodges
# Dalfis Ortiz
Adonis Paula
Matt Scioscia
Elliot Soto (ACTIVE - serving 50-game Drug of Abuse suspension)
# Trevor Stevens (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY - right hand injury)
Gleyber Torres

OUTFIELDERS (9+2):
Jeffrey Baez
* Kevin Brown
Charcer Burks
Arnaldo Calero
* Rashad Crawford
#  Kevin Encarnacion (INACTIVE - burns & other injuries suffered in off-season car crash)  
Eloy Jimenez
* Ricardo Marcano
Rony Rodriguez 
Jorge Soler (LIMITED ACTIVITY ONLY - hamstring)
Shamil Ubiera

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

CUBS LATIN AMERICAN AFFILIATES   

NOTE: Latin American Cubs minor leaguers who do not attend Minor League Camp in Arizona have their Spring Training at the Cubs Dominican Academy beginning in March. Players who have Spring Training at the Dominican Academy are eventually assigned to either the Cubs Extended Spring Training squad in Mesa in April and/or to one of the two Cubs Latin American affiliates (DSL Cubs or VSL Cubs) when they commence league play in May.  


DSL CUBS
(27)

PITCHERS (15):
Gilberto Abreu
Pedro Araujo  
Oscar de la Cruz
Wagner Disla
Luis Escanio  
Luis Guillen  
Jeffry Hernandez
Junior Marte
Enderson Mercedes
Jose Morel  
* Jesus Perez
Santiago Rodriguez
Pedro Silverio
Delbi Torres
Dilson Vasquez  

CATCHERS (2):
Johan Matos
Carlos Ramirez

INFIELDERS (4):  
# Frandy de la Rosa 
# Humberto Garcia
# Antonio Gonzalez  
Jhonny Pena 

OUTFIELDERS (6):
Luis Acosta
# Roberto Caro
Jenner Emeterio
# Robert Garcia
Jose Paniagua
Luis Ubiera


VSL CUBS (27)

PITCHERS (15): 
Harrinson Bermudez 
Enrique de los Rios 
* Manuel Fuentes
* Victor Garcia
* Yapson Gomez
Salvador Jerez
* Angel Mejias
Yomar Pacheco
* Chris Pieters
Moises Ramirez
Brohiglyn Rivero  
* Carlos Rodriguez
Cesar Romero
Ramon Valera
Mauro Vides 

CATCHERS (4):
Leonardo Gonzalez
Luis Hidalgo
Jhonny Pereda
Roberto Vahlis

INFIELDERS (4):
* Delbis Arcila
Wladimir Galindo
Jesus Gonzalez
Miguel Rico

OUTFIELDERS
(4): 
Luis Ayala
Victor Gomez
Jose Gonzalez
# Martin Hodwalker  

Minor League Free-Agency

A minor league player can become a free-agent four ways:

1. Outright Release
2. Per Article XX-B of the CBA
3. Per Article XX-D of the CBA
4. Per MLB Rule 55

OUTRIGHT RELEASE
: Unlike for players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), Outright Release Waivers are not required to release a minor league player. A released minor league player receives two weeks termination pay if he is released during Spring Training or during the minor league season, but the player receives no termination pay if he is released during the off-season before the next season's salary addendum has been added to the player's contract. A minor league player who is injured during the course of Spring Training (Minor League Camp) or the minor league regular season receives two weeks termination pay if he is released no later than the 14th day of his club's regular season, but the injured player receives a full season's salary if he is released after the 14th day of his club's regular season.

ARTICLE XX-B: If an Article XX-B MLB free-agent signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List by 3 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day, the player automatically receives a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date.

ARTICLE XX-D: Any MLB player who has accrued at least three years of MLB service time, or who was eligible for Salary Arbitration as a "Super Two" after the previous season, and/or who has been outrighted previously in his career, has the right to be a free-agent if the player is outrighted to the minors. The player can exercise this right upon being outrighted, or (but only in the case of a player who has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career) he can opt to defer the right until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (he is given three days to decide if he is outrighted during Spring Training or the MLB regular season, and he has eight days to make up his mind if he is outrighted during the off-season). If a player eligible to be a free-agent under Article XX-D elects to be a free-agent immediately after being outrighted, the player's contract is terminated and the player receives no termination pay. (Because unsigned players do not receive termination pay, players eligible to be minor league free-agents under Article XX-D who are outrighted during the off-season before being tendered a contract for the following season almost always opt for free-agency immediately). But if the outrighted player accepts the Outright Assignment, the player's existing contract remains in force, and the player can elect free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. (A player who had the option to elect free-agency upon being outrighted only because he had been eligible for Salary Arbitration as a "Super Two" after the previous season does NOT have the right to defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season). However, an outrighted player who deferred the right to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent until the conclusion of the MLB regular season is NOT eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season.

MLB RULE 55: Sometimes called a "Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent," an unsigned minor league player is automatically declared a free-agent per MLB Rule 55 if the player has spent all or any part of at least seven separate seasons on a minor league roster (including all or parts of any season spent on Optional Assignment to the minors), and/or if the player has been previously released or non-tendered in his career and his present contract (known as a "second contract" even if it's his third or fourth minor league contract) has expired. For purposes of determining eligibility to be a free-agent, a player does not accrue a minor league season if the player spends the entire season on an MLB Active List, MLB Disabled List(s), and/oror other MLB Inactive List, or if the player spends an entire season on the Restricted List, Disqualified List, Suspended List, Ineligible List, Voluntarily Retired List, and/or Military List. Also, participation in a post-season instructional league, Arizona Fall League, and/or winter league do not count toward a minor league season. Note that a player who ordinarily would have been declared a Rule 55 minor league free-agent is NOT eligible to be a free-agent if the player is either added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or agrees to a minor league successor contract with his previous club by 5:00 PM (Eastern) on October 15th or by 5:00 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series (whichever is later). The deadline for an MLB club to tender a contract to an unsigned minor league player who had previously agreed to a successor contract is January 15th. If an unsigned minor league player is not tendered a contract by January 15th, the player becomes an unrestricted free-agent.

A minor league free-agent can sign a contract with any major league or minor league club (including the player's former club) without any restrictions. A club receives no compensation for losing an Article XX-B, Article XX-D, or MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent.

LAST UPDATED: 4-16-2014

2014 ARTICLE XX-B CUBS MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER
NONE 

ARTICLE XX-D CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2014:
Marcos Mateo, RHP

MLB RULE 55 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS POST-2014:

SIX-YEAR FREE-AGENT:
Lars Anderson, 1B
Jeffry Antigua, LHP 
Alberto Cabrera, RHP
Marcelo Carreno, RHP
Lendy Castillo, RHP
Hunter Cervenka, LHP (see NOTE)
Chris Coghlan, OF
Charlie Cutler, C
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Luis Flores, C
Edgar Gonzalez, INF
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Tommy Hottovy, LHP
Jonathon Mota, INF
Starling Peralta, RHP
Carlos Pimentel, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Jose Rosario, RHP
Jonathan Sanchez, LHP
Ryan Searle, RHP
Jeudy Valdez, INF
Chris Valaika, INF
Casper Wells, OF
Eli Whiteside, C
NOTE: Hunter Cervenka will be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA post-2014 if he signed a 2008 contract when he signed his "first contract" with the Boston Red Sox on 8-15-2008. However, if he was “Signed for Future Service“ (first contract was a 2009 contract), he will not be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA until post-2015.

SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE FA
Humberto Garcia, INF (previously released by CHW)
Nate Maldonado, C (previously released by CHC)
Yomar Pacheco, RHP (previously released by PIT)
Joel Pineiro, RHP (previously released by BAL)
Brohiglyn Rivero, RHP (previously released by TB)
Roberto Vahlis, C (previously released by TOR)
Tsuyoshi Wada, LHP (previously released by CHC)
 

Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League (AFL) is a developmental league operated by MLB.


The AFL operates for six weeks after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, and it features a 32-game "regular season" schedule plus an All-Star Game (known as the "Rising Stars Game") at the end of the 4th week and the AFL Championship Game (pitting the winner of the East Division versus the winner of the West Division) at the end of the 6th and final week. 


There are three games scheduled every day Monday through Saturday during the AFL regular season (there are no games on Sunday), beginning with Opening Day on the second Tuesday following the conclusion of the MLB regular season and extending up through the Thursday of the 6th week. (No regular season games are scheduled the day of the Rising Stars game).  


AFL eligibility rules & restrictions:


1. There are six AFL teams, and each AFL team is affilated with five MLB clubs. SD/SEA (Peoria Javelinas), KC/TEX (Surprise Saguaros), LAD/CHW (Glendale Desert Dogs), AZ/COL (Salt River Rafters), CUBS (Mesa Solar Sox), and SF (Scottsdale Scorpiions) are the permanent "host organizations" for the six AFL teams, but the affiliations of the other 20 MLB clubs can vary from year-to-year. Besides the Cubs, the other four MLB organizations affiliated with the Mesa Solar Sox in 2013 will be DET, LAA, OAK, and WAS.


2. Each MLB organization must assign a minimum of seven players to its AFL affiliate, including a minimum of four pitchers (preferably one pitcher capable of starting plus three relievers) and a minimum of three position players (specific positions needed to be filled by each organization TBD by a conference call "position draft" between the Player Development Directors of the five MLB organizations affiliated with that particular AFL team).


3. An MLB organization can assign additional pitchers and/or players to its AFL team's "Taxi Squad" (players assigned to an AFL team's "Taxi Squad" can be activated on Wednesdays and Saturdays only, but a player can be transferred from the Taxi Squad to the 35-man Active Roster to replace an injured player).


4. A player can be selected to play in the AFL more than once, as long as the player continues to meet eligibility for selection.


5. MLB players (including Rule 5 players) with less than one year (1+000) MLB Service Time accrued (not including time spent on a Disabled list) as of September 1st are eligible.


6. Any player on a AA or AAA roster on August 15th is eligible.


7. Two players on an organization's Advanced Class-A (A+) affilate's roster on August 15th can be assigned to the AFL..


8. Two additional players who were on the roster of a minor league affiliate below AA (A+, A, SS-A, R) on August 15th can be assigned to the AFL.


9. Internatiional players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and/or Australia are eligible only if the player is not on the reserve list of a Winter League club from the player's home country. Otherwise, there is no maximum limit on the number of international players an MLB organization can assign to its AFL team.


10. Players assigned to the AFL do not accrue MLB or minor league service time, each player receives the same salary, and the salaries are paid out of a special fund managed by MLB.    


Each MLB organization provides either the manager, the pitching coach, the hitting coach, or one of the two athletic trainers to its affiliated AFL club (assignments rotate every year).