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). 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. (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 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 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 second game being scheduled at least 48 hours in advance, the 26-man Active List limit is in effect for both games, but the "26th man" cannot be switched between games.

4. A minor league player can be added to a club's Active List as the "26th man" even if he has not spent ten days on Optional Assignment (or Outright Assignment) prior to being added.

5. A "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 from the minors prior to spending at least ten days on Optional or Outright Assignment. However, a player called up as the "26th man" prior to spending at least ten days on Optional or Outright 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 next day.

6. If a player is recalled as the "26th man" and is optioned or outrighted 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 or Outright 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 or Outright Assignment prior to being recalled as the "26th man" counts toward the ten days.

7. The "26th man" accrues one day of MLB Service Time.

 

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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 3 hours 38 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 3 hours 57 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 4 hours 1 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 4 hours 10 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 4 hours 36 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 4 hours 52 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 5 hours 23 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 5 hours 38 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 9 hours 54 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 10 hours 36 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 10 hours 40 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 12 hours 34 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 14 hours 22 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 14 hours 57 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 15 hours 10 min ago view