Restrictions on Trading Players

Generally, an MLB club can trade a player on its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) and minor league reserve lists at any time. However, there are a few restrictions:

1. A player who signs after being selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft) cannot be traded until after the conclusion of the World Series. NOTE: Previously, a player signed after being selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft could not be traded until the first anniversary of the player signing his first contract.  

2. A minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), traded to another organization, or transferred from one minor league reserve list to another within the same organization, beginning with the filing of MLB & minor league reserve lists on November 20th (or November 19th if November 20th falls on a Saturday or November 18th if November 20th falls on a Sunday) and extending through the completion of the Rule 5 Draft.

3. A player cannot be traded while he is on waivers.

4. A player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who has accrued at least ten years of MLB Service Time with at least the last five years of MLB Service Time accrued with the same club has an automatic "no trade" right for as long as he remains with that club. The player can waive this right if he so chooses.

5. An Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signs a Major League contract after 11:59 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series has an automatic "no trade" right through June 15th. The player can waive this right, but if he does he can be traded only for cash and/or player contracts with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000. Note that an Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signs a minor league contract after 11:59 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series does NOT receive an automatic "no trade" right, even if the player is later added to the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).  


6. If a "Player to Be Named Later" (PTBNL) is part of a trade, the PTBNL cannot be on an MLB 25-man roster (MLB Active List) at any time beginning when the trade is executed (filed with the MLB office) up until when the trade is completed. A PTBNL can be a specific player or the PTBNL can be selected from a list of players or a class of players as determined by the clubs when the trade is executed. Beginning in 2015, a player signed after being selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft) cannot be a PTBNL in any trade made prior to the conclusion of the World Series. Clubs have six months to agree on a PTBNL, but the clubs can agree (when the trade is executed) on a deadline that is less than six months. A cash payment (typically $50,000 for trades involving players on the 40-man roster) can be substituted for a PTBNL if no agreement can be reached within six months, but the alternative cash payment must be agreeable to both clubs and stated in writing when the trade is executed. 

7. Beginning at 4 PM (Eastern) on July 31st and extending through the conclusion of the MLB regular season, Trade Assignment Waivers must be secured before a player on an MLB 40-man roster (or 60-day DL) can be traded.

8. In most cases a player on a disabled list can be traded, even if the player is not eligible to be reinstated and/or healthy enough to play. The one exception is if Trade Assignment Waivers must be secured before the player can be traded. In that case (only), the player must be eligible to be reinstated from the Disabled List AND healthy enough to play before the player can be placed on waivers. Otherwise the disabled player would have to remain a "Player to Be Named Later" until either the player is eligible to be reinstated from the Disabled List AND healthy enough to play such that Trade Assignment Waivers can be secured, or until the conclusion of the MLB regular season (if Trade Assignment Waivers are not secured).


Recent comments

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  • I'm guessing 3/30 and all the two foot long hot dogs you can eat didn't work

  • Yes! In a 12-way tie for first!

  • Shit.

    Blew my prediction! I had them signing Zimmerman and trading for another arm.

  • Damn wanted Zimmermann

  • Yeah, this market. Remember when Ted Lilly signed a 4/$40m with the Cubs? It was like "Well, I guess if you can throw a ball, that's what the 3 and 4 starters are all getting." I'm glad I'm not a GM. Of course, they're spending our money...

  • in this market that seems like a decent deal relative to the market.

    given that d.price will probably get 30m-ish a year, 22m for 29yo zimm doesn't seem bad. i wouldn't complain about him suiting up for the cubs. one less option gone...

  • Zimmermann 5/$110m with Tigers. Youch.

    And the updated predications page:

  • Cubs 3B Christian Villanueva (who is out of minor league options) is hitting 358/464/500 for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), and is leading the LMP in OBP, is second in BAvg and walks, is seventh in SLG, and is tied for 8th in HR. He also has struck out only 16 times in 175 PA. 

  • CTSteve, thanks for spelling Zimmermann correctly. We don't need another first baseman.

  • The media has linked Cueto and the Cubs approximately zero times this winter. I'm thinking there's just not a lot of interest there on the Cubs' part. It seems unlikely.

    If the Cubs miss on Price, Grienke, and Zimmerman, they will aim for a mid-rotation starter via free agency or trade. However, I think this scenario also significantly boosts the odds that they extend Arrieta.

  • The Tigers are going after Zimmermann and the Red Sox will be throwing money at Price. Bringing Cueto back to the NL with the Cubs is looking like a serious possibility. Thoughts?

  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe in the financial impact to the Red Sox for not signing Jon Lester early in the free agent process:

    It will be interesting to ultimately add up the cost of letting Jon Lester go.

    The Red Sox botched up their negotiations with Lester in during spring training of 2014, making an initial offer of $70 million that was roughly $40 million short of what it should have been. Talks broke down and Lester was traded in July.

  •'re flip-flopping again?!

    Is this legal? What is the rule here on opining definitively and then changing your mind?

    I am not only surprised at your declaration, but Cutler's better 2015 showing. I don't get it - he went through Martz, Turner, Trestman, Kromer, and now Gase...and he is still here! And. he'll be here mext year too.

  • Happ signs w Jays

    Morsi saying Price won't be a Jay

  • needs more d.beeler and e.jokisch

  • As an Illinois tax payer I appreciate what they r doing