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/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.
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.
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).
A minor league player can become a free-agent three ways:
1. Outright Release
2. Per Article XX-D of the CBA
3. 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-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 MLB Rule 55 or Article XX-D minor league free-agent.
LAST UPDATED: 12-12-2013
ARTICLE XX-D CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2014:
NONE AT THIS TIME
MLB RULE 55 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS:
Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Marcelo Carreno, RHP
Lendy Castillo, RHP
Hunter Cervenka, LHP (see NOTE)
Casey Coleman, RHP
Aaron Cunningham, OF
Charlie Cutler, C
Paolo Espino, RHP
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Luis Flores, C
Edgar Gonzalez, INF
Carlos Gutierrez, RHP
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Walter Ibarra, INF
Darnell McDonald, OF
Jonathon Mota, INF
Thomas Neal, OF
Starling Peralta, RHP
Carlos Pimentel, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Jose Rosario, RHP
Brian Schlitter, RHP
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:
Michael de la Cruz, RHP (previously released by TEX)
Carlos Figueroa, INF (previously released by CHC)
Humberto Garcia, INF (previously released by CHW)
Alan Oaks, RHP (previously released by MIA)
Yomar Pacheco, RHP (previously released by PIT)
Brohiglyn Rivero, RHP (previously released by TB)
Orbandy Rodriguez, RHP (previously released by AZ)
Roberto Vahlis, C (previously released by TOR)
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).