Trade Assignment Waivers
The deadline for "non-waiver" (unrestricted) trades is 4 PM (Eastern) on July 31st. No trades can be made between 4:00 and 5:00 (Eastern), 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 players on minor league reserve lists).
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 because Saturday and Sunday are not considered MLB business days during the off-season, the MLB waiver list is transmitted at 2 PM (Eastern) Monday through Friday (only) 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, the waiver request will not be transmitted until the next business day. A player remains on waivers for 47 hours, during which time any of the other 29 MLB clubs can make a claim.
At 1 PM 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.
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.
A player on a Disabled List cannot be placed on assignment waivers until he is both eligible to be reinstated from the DL and healthy enough to play.
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. However, Outright Release Waivers (but NOT assignment waivers) may be requested on a player while he is on the Voluntary Retired List.
The procedure for awarding waiver claims is different depending on the type of waivers and the time of the year.
For Optional Assignment Waivers, Outright Assignment Waivers, and Outright Release 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.
However, in the case of 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 Waivers must first be "waived out of his own league" before he can be assigned to a club in the other league.
For the purpose of determining the awarding of Trade Assignment waiver claims, the standings as of the close of each day's Waiver Claiming Period are used to determine the awarding of waiver claims, with the previous season's standings used to break any ties. If clubs are still tied, standings from two seasons back, or three seaons back, etc, are used to break any ties.
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 particular player, 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 a trade cannot be worked-out with the claiming club before the window closes, and the 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 "no trade" rights can refuse both a waiver claim and a trade assignment, however).
If a player is claimed after being placed on Trade Assignment Waivers, but then the player is not traded and the waiver request is subsequently withdrawn, the player cannot be placed on Trade Waivers again for at least 30 days from the date the waivers are withdrawn, and if the player is placed on Trade Waivers again before the end of the season, the waivers become irrevocable and cannot be withdrawn. A player who has "no trade" rights (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" rights.
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 or minor league Disabled List is placed on Trade Assignment Waivers, he must be either traded or reinstated from the DL within 72 hours after the conclusion of the Waiver Claiming Period and/or after waivers have been secured. If a player on an MLB or minor league Disabled List is claimed after being placed on Trade Assignment Waivers but then the waiver request is subsequently withdrawn, the player must reinstated from the DL immediately when the waiver request is withdrawn.