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 following the conclusion 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 following the conclusion 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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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.