What Are "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If a player is claimed but not traded and the waiver request is subsequently withdrawn, the player cannot be placed on Trade Assignment Waivers again for at least 30 days from the date the waiver request is withdrawn, and if the player is placed on Trade Assignment Waivers again before the end of the season, the waivers become irrevocable and cannot be withdrawn.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.
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.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.
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.
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).