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 player can be Designated for Assignment (DFA). 

When a player 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, or return the Designated Player to its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) and option the player to the minors (if the player has minor league options available and Optional Assignment Waivers are secured if needed, unless the player has the right to refuse an Optional Assignment and does not give his consent), but a player who has been Designated for Assignment can be returned to the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) and optioned to the minors only if the Designated Player was not replaced on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) by another player after being Designated for Assignment. (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.

A player acquired off waivers can be optioned to the minors by his new club (as long as the player has a minor league option available, unless the player has the right to refuse an optional assignment and does not give his consent) or can be placed onto Outright Assignment Waivers and be outrighted to the minors if he is not claimed (unless he has the right to refuse an Outright Assignment and does not give his consent), but if a club acquires a player off waivers and the claiming club's MLB Reserve List (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, or the claiming club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) is full so that the club needs to remove a player from its MLB Active List in order to open a spot on its 25-man roster for the newly-acquired player, the player who was claimed off waivers cannot be Designated for Assignment to alleviate the roster logjam.


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