Outright Release Waivers

Outright Release Waivers are irrevocable and cannot be withdrawn once they are requested.

While a player claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers costs $20,000 (or $25,000 for a Rule 5 or Draft-Excluded player), a club can claim a player off Outright Release Waivers for the miniscule sum of $1. However, a club that claims a player off Release Waivers is responsible for paying 100% of the player's remaining salary, whereas if the same club waits until the player clears Release Waivers, the club can sign the player for the MLB minimum salary (or prorated portion of the MLB minimum salary), with the player's former club responsible for the balance.

A player who is claimed off Outright Release Waivers has the option to decline the assignment and become a free-agent (he has up to five days to decide). For most players, refusing an Outright Release waiver claim means the player's contract is terminated with no severance and his former club owes him nothing (same as an Article XX-D minor league FA who refuses an Outright Assignment), but for a player with "no trade" rights who refuses an Outright Release waiver claim, the player is owed his full salary for the balance of the contract, same as if he had not been claimed.

A player on an MLB 40-man roster who is released during the period of time extending from April 1st through August 31st cannot be added back to the MLB Active List of the club that released the player for at least 30 days, and a player on an MLB 40-man roster who is released anytime during the period of time extending from September 1st through March 31st cannot be added back to the MLB 40-man roster (or MLB 25-man Active List) of the club that released the player until May 15th. Note that while a player who is "non-tendered" on 12/2 becomes a free-agent, it is not considered the same thing as an outright release, so a club can re-sign a non-tendered player to a Major League contract (or minor league contract) without any restrictions anytime after the player is non-tendered. Thus, December 2nd is a sort of roster "island oasis" in the middle of the off-season where a club can drop a player from its MLB Reserve List (including injured players) without having to worry about waivers or restrictions on off-season outright assignments or outright release.

A player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released more than 15 days prior to Opening Day receives 30 days salary as termination pay (paid at the "minor league rate" if the player is signed to a "split contract"), and a player on an MLB Reserve List signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released 15 or fewer days prior to Opening Day receives 45 days salary as termination pay (all players paid at the "Major League rate"). A player on an MLB Reserve List signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released during the MLB regular season receives 100% of his salary as termination pay (paid at the "minor league rate" for players on Optional Assignment to the minors). An unsigned player on an MLB Reserve List released during the off-season receives no termination pay.

A Rule 5 player cannot be released until Rule 5 restrictions have been removed, and if Rule 5 restrictions have been removed and the player is released, the player's termination pay is always paid at the "Major League rate" as long as he is released prior to being outrighted to the minors.

Outright Release Waivers cannot be requested on a player while he is on the Bereavement List, Military List, Suspended List, Disqualified List, or Ineligible List. 

A club cannot option a player signed to a "split contract" to the minors if the purpose of the assignment is to release the player and avoid paying termination pay at the "Major League rate."

A player is automatically & immediately removed from his club's Reserve List (40-man roster) and Active List when placed on Outright Release Waivers.

 

 

 

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