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.


Recent comments

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  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.

  • Wrigley was electric tonite
    Not many card fans
    Video board was great, they played "there goes my hero" by foos over ryno highlights before he came out. Spectacular

    Good times hopefully they win tomorrow but think Lester will beat poopy pants on Wednesday.

    Happy 4th anniversary of Theo's signing

    Go Cubs !

  • Yeah. "Goodbye!" is a lame HR call.

    I miss Len and JD -- although, driving home from a friend's, WBBM played all 6 HR calls in a row -- and Len got to call the Bryant/Rizzo back-to-back. Very fun.

  • Lackey has been a beast against us. His stats on 3 days rest, however, not as nice. There is plenty of hope.

  • And, no dreadlocks grown yet.

  • Captain Obvious Strikes Again!!!

  • Amen, brother.

  • In the wild card game he mentioned that aram started with the Pirates, then played for the Brewers, and now he's back with the Pirates. Uhhhh, missed a step there, guy.

  • i like ron darling the person, the interview, and the studio desk guy...but him calling a game can lead to some really stupid stuff coming out of his mouth.

  • If you think these announcers are bad ,the ones doing the Mets vs Dodgers (Ron Darling ,Cal Ripken and someone else)
    are worse they did the wildcard game I never knew Joe Jackson and Derrick Fowler played for the Cubs this year you
    would think there would be research by them.

  • daaaaaayam.

  • Soler's OPS in the NLDS? 3.750.