The 2021 Trade Deadline Cometh

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 trade involving a player signed to an MLB contract (including any player on an MLB Reserve List, MLB 60-day Injured List, or MLB Restricted List, and/or any player who was outrighted to the minors after signing an MLB contract for that season) is prohibited beginning at 4 PM (Eastern) on July 31st (or 4 PM Eastern on Friday July 30th if July 31st falls on a Saturday, or 4 PM Eastern on Monday August 1st if July 31st falls on a Sunday) and extending until the day after the final game of the World Series.  
NOTE: Trade Assignment Waivers (which permitted the trading of players on MLB reserve lists after the July 31st deadline up until 12 PM Eastern on the 7th day prior to the originally-scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season) were eliminated starting with the 2019 season. 

2. A trade involving a player on a minor league reserve list is prohibited beginning at 12 PM (Eastern) on the 7th day prior to the originally-scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season through the last day of the MLB regular season (including a day in which a Game #163 and Game #164 tie-breaker game is played or a day in which a re-scheduled game is played after the originally-scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season).   

3. 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 (no earlier than 9 AM on the day after the final game of the World Series), or for 90 days if the player signs after 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.  

4. 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.

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

6. A player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who has a contractual "no trade" right can waive this right if he so chooses.

Craig Kimbrel, RHP (can block trade to eight clubs TBD) 

7. 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 (a so-called "10/5" player) 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.

"10/5" PLAYERS ON CUBS MLB RESERVE LIST: (updated 10-31-2020)
Jason Heyward, OF 

8. 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).  


9. If a "Player to Be Named Later" (PTBNL) is part of a trade, the PTBNL cannot be on an 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 either a specific player or the PTBNL can be selected from a list of players or a class of players as determined by the clubs (in writing) when the trade is executed. 
NOTE: 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. 

10. A player on an MLB or minor league injured list can be traded, even if the player is not eligible to be reinstated and/or healthy enough to play.
NOTE: As far as a player having to spend a certain number of days on an IL before he is eligible to be reinstated is concerned, in the case of a trade, time already spent on an injured list is carried-over to the player's new club. 


Although the MLB Trade Deadline means players on MLB Reseve Lists (and MLB 60-day IL) and players who were outrighted off MLB reserve lists after signing a 2021 contract can't be traded after 4 PM (Eastern) on 7/30, players can be claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers through the balance of the MLB season.  

With the MLB post-season roster elibility deadline at midnight on 8/31, a club could claim a player off Outtright Assignment Waivers in August and have that player eligible to play in the post-season, as long as the player is placed on Outright Assignment Waivers no later than 8/29 (so that the player's waiver claiming period ends on 8/31).

So (for example), let's say the Cubs don't trade Zach Davies by the trade deadline, but then a contender suddenly needs a SP sometime in August. That club could call up the Cubs and request the Cubs place Davies on waivers so that the club can claim him prior to the 8/31 post-season roster eligibility deadline. The Cubs would at least get salary relief (whatever is left of Davies' 2021 salary) plus the $50,000 waiver price. Of course there is no guarantee that the contending club wanting to acquire Davies wouldn't get undercut by another club with a better waiver claim priority, but from the Cubs' POV that wouldn't matter. 

the "cleveland indians" are now the "cleveland gaurdians"

they totally blew this.  the "cleveland spiders" was the right call.

I agree crunch.

sogard DFA'd...duffy up.

sogard got 180 PA, putting up .249/.283/.314

rich hill (aka, dick mountain) takes his 70mph slider to NYM.

Cubs sign Johneshwy Fargas (CF) off waivers after being DFA'd by the Mets. Optioned to AAA.

I think the Cubs should extend Chirinos.

In seriousness, it took like 30 tries, but finally found a solid backup catcher.

straight up feasting on ARZ pitching

you know d.ross has to love him as a clubhouse/dugout presence given his past as a player.

Chirinos is a good backup.

A's/chafin is supposedly happening (pending physicals).

no word on return yet.

The A’s have made their first upgrade of deadline season, acquiring veteran left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin from the Cubs in exchange for minor league outfielder Greg Deichmann and minor league right-hander Daniel Palencia, per a club announcement.


Greg Deichmann will be eligible for a 4th minor league option in 2024 (if needed). 

9th and 12th ranked prospects in Oakland system. Given numbers deichmann is putting up in aaa it would seem he is mlb ready.  Seems like a solid return for chafin. 

SONICWIND: I have seen a lot of Greg Deichmann out here, in the AFL:the year he played there and then against the Cubs in Minor League Camp, and to me he is strictly a platoon RF. He murders RHP but absolutely cannot hit LHP. I could see Deichmann maybe in a platoon with Michael Hermosillo in a corner OF slot, or maybe in a DH platoon (presuming the N. L. adopts the DH in 2022, which I believe will happen). 

Woah... his L/R splits are comical this year:  .344 / .487(!) / .517 vs. .186 / .279 / .288

A good platoon slugger in exchange for a lefty reliever would be a solid get.

if a guy has to pitch to 3 dudes before he can come out, the bench now has the upper hand vs bullpen depth.

the R/L specialist out of the pen may now be replaced by the R/L specialist off the bench.  the lack of a counter-punch to use against a pinch hitter is real now.  if it's a dude than can also field his position (or multiple ones) well enough to have trust doing it for multiple innings, that's even more value.

CRUNCH: I said here last year year that I believe the three-batter minimum rule should be amended so that if the offense puts up a pinch-hitter, the defense can make a pitching change (but then the new pitcher would have to face three batters unless PH or inning ends).  

AZ PHIL:  Thank you for the report.  Always appreciate your background info and insights. In reading some of the reports on him; heard it mentioned he has good bp power but it doesn't play up in games. Is that accurate and if so any thoughts on why? 

*reggie golden flashbacks intensify*

One of the problems with evaluating a hitter from a BP session is that the hitter knows the type of pitch coming in and the velo. That's why there is no substiture for hitting in a game. 

Even though the MLB Trade Deadline has passed, Cubs minor leaguers with MLB experience like RHSP Joe Biagini, LHRP Tony Cingrani, RHRP Ryan Meisinger, OF Ian Miller, and RHSP Adrian Sampson can still be traded up until one week prior to the scheduled conclusion of the MLB reegular season, and I would expect each of them to get some interest from contending teams prior to the August 31 midnight post-season roster eligibilty deadline. (C-1B Taylor Gushue, OF-1B Nick Martini, and C-INF Tony Wolters cannot be traded because they were outrighted off the 40-man roster in 2021, but one or more of them could be added to the Cubs MLB roster in September when the roster limit expands from 26 to 28). 

Along with the possibility of trading minor leaguers with MLB experience to contending teams prior to midnight on 8/31 so that they will be post-season roster eligible, the Cubs also will likely place their post-2021 Article XX-B free-agents (Arrieta, Chirinos Davies, Duffy, Lobaton, the two Romines, and Winkler) as well as their likely post-2021 non-tender candidates (Brothers, Morgan, and Ryan) on Outright Assignment Waivers toward the end of August, in part to see if a contender might claim the player and at least relieve the Cubs of a month of salary obligation, but also to provide to the Cubs the $50,000 waiver claim payment if the player is claimed. And if the player (let's say it's Davies) is claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers later this month, the Cubs could "bank" the $50,000 waiver claim payment and use it sometime in the off-season to make a waiver claim of their own, essentially turning the transaction into a de facto trade of a veteran free-agent the Cubs were going to lose for nothing anyway (plus what remains of the player's 2021 salary) for a potentially useful minimum salary PTBNL!.  

And if the player is not claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers, the Cubs can just release the player (as a "solid / goodwill" gesture) prior to the 8/31 roster eligibility deadline, providing the veteran a chance to sign a contract with a contender and have the possibility of playing in the post-season (and making the Cubs look magnanimous in the process). The Cubs could even stage a "Jake Arrieta Appreciation Day" at Wrigley Field and/or post a ten-minute long heart-tugging twitter tribute when they release him.    

Remember, a player does - NOT - have to be outrighted if Outright Assignmment Waivers are secured, but if secured the waiver will expire at midnight on 8/31, so the Cubs should not place any of these veterans on Outright Assignment Waivers until the last week of August, unless a club calls the Cubs and asks them to place a certain player on Outright Assignment Waivers ASAP so that the other club can make a claim (like if a contending club unexpectedly loses a SP for the season next week and suddenly Zach Davies becomes a very attractive fall-back option for that club).   

The Cubs have released AAA Iowa C-INF Tony Wolters so that he can sign a minor league deal with a contending club (if the opportunity presents itself).

Because he was outrighted earlier this season he was not eligible to be traded after 7/30, even though he was on a minor league reserve list and (generally speaking) a player on a minor league reserve list can be traded up until one week prior to the scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season. 

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  • crunch 2 hours 34 min ago (view)

    * except for playing 1st base


  • crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...


  • Cubster 2 days 24 min ago (view)

    any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?


  • crunch 2 days 49 min ago (view)

    k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.


  • Cubster 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Carter Hawkins introduced to the press...


  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.

    both are/were catcher organizational depth.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.

    mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far. 


  • crunch 2 days 23 hours ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.


  • bradsbeard 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.


  • Hagsag 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 


  • azbobbop 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.


  • tim815 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 3 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).