Minor League Free-Agency Approaches

11/8 UPDATE: 

were declared MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agents Monday afternoon:

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11/7 UPDATE
: RHP Jose Rosario has indeed been added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).

Also, RHP Andury Acevedo, RHP Dallas Beeler, and C Tim Federowicz have been sent outright to AAA Iowa.

Acevedo will be declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA if he does not sign a 2017 minor league successor contract, and Federowicz has the right to elect to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent (because he has been outrighted previously in his career), but even if he doesn't elect free-agency per Article XX-D he will be declared an MLB Rule 55 6YFA if he does not sign a 2017 minor league successor contract.

Beeler does not have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted and he is not eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA post-2016 either, so he will remain under club control through the 2017 season, although he is eligible for selection in next month's MLB Rule 5 Draft. However, since he wasn't claimed off waivers ($20,000 waiver claiming price with no roster restrictions), it is very unlikely that he will be selected in the Rule 5 Draft ($50,000 draft price plus roster restrictions);

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Post-2016 MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA and second-contract free-agents who decline to sign 2017 minor league successor contracts are now being added to MLB 40-man rosters in advance of next week's deadline, as the Cincinnati Reds have added RHRP and the Texas Rangers have added OF to their respective MLB Reserve Lists.

Usually no more than a dozen potential minor league free-agents are added to MLB 40-man rosters each year. As far as potential Cubs minor league free-agents are concerned, I would expect the Cubs to add RHRP to the 40 by next Monday's 5 PM (Eastern) deadline, unless he agrees to sign a 2017 minor league successor contract.

A minor league successor contract is essentially an agreement between the player and the club to extend club control for one more season, usually with a financial inducement for the player (and sometimes an NRI to Spring Training as well). However, a potential post-2016 Rule 55 minor league free-agent who signs a 2017 minor league successor contract prior to Monday's deadline becomes eligible for selection in next month's MLB Rule 5 Draft, as does any free-agent who signs a 2017 minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft, so the only way the club can be sure to retain the player is by adding him to the 40. 

For example, LHRP (previously non-tendered by CHC) was eligible to be a Rule 55 second-contract minor league free-agent post-2016, but he signed a 2017 minor league successor contract with the Cubs in September. However, he will be eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster pror to the deadline for submitting MLB and minor league reserve lists to the MLB Commissioner on 11/18. NOTE: The roster filing deadline usually is 11/20, but it is moved up two days this year because the 20th falls on a Sunday.  

LAST UPDATED: 10-11-2016

2016 ARTICLE XX-B MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER:
NONE (all three were released oprior to the start of the 2016 MLB regular season)

POST-2016 ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT
, OF (filed 10-11-2016)

POST-2016 ARTICLE XIX-A MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT
NONE

MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT POST-2016

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS:
, OF
, INF-OF-C
, LHP
, LHP
, RHP
, OF-1B
, RHP
, C-1B 
, OF
, INF
, LHP
, RHP
, OF-INF
, RHP
, LHP
, INF

SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS (see NOTE below)
, RHP (previously released by CLE)
, RHP (previously released by ATL)
, RHP (previously non-tendered by MIA)
, RHP (previously released by HOU)
, RHP (previously released by BAL)
, RHP (previously released by CIN)
, LHP (previously released by ATL)
, RHP (previously released by DET)
, RHP (previously released by CLE)
, RHP (previously released by AZ)
, RHP (previously released by SEA)
NOTE: With mutual consent (player & club), a second-contract minor league player who has accrued fewer than seven minor league seasons (six contract renewals) can be signed to a multi-year minor league contract with club control extending up through the player's seventh minor league season (six contract renewals). So it is possible that one or more of the Cubs minor league second contract players are signed beyond the 2016 season (TBD)

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So to summarize, a minor league player can become a free-agent six ways:

1. Outright Release 
2. Per Article XX-B of the CBA  
3. Per Article XX-D of the CBA 
4. Per Article XIX-A of the CBA 
5. Per MLB Rule 55  
6. Non-tender 


OUTRIGHT RELEASE: Unlike for players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), Outright Release Waivers are not required to release a minor league player. A released minor league player receives two weeks termination pay if he is released during Spring Training or during the minor league season, but the player receives no termination pay if he is released during the off-season before the next season's salary addendum has been added to the player's contract. A minor league player who is injured during the course of Spring Training (Minor League Camp) or the minor league regular season receives two weeks termination pay if he is released no later than the 14th day of his club's regular season, but the injured player receives a full season's salary if he is released after the 14th day of his club's regular season.

ARTICLE XX-B
: If an Article XX-B MLB free-agent signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List by 3 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day, the player automatically receives a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date.

ARTICLE XX-D
: Any MLB player who has accrued at least three years of MLB service time, or who was eligible for Salary Arbitration as a "Super Two" after the previous season, and/or who has been outrighted previously in his career, has the right to be a free-agent if the player is outrighted to the minors. The player can exercise this right upon being outrighted, or (but only in the case of a player who has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career) he can opt to defer the right until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (he is given three days to decide if he is outrighted during Spring Training or the MLB regular season, and he has eight days to make up his mind if he is outrighted during the off-season). If a player eligible to be a free-agent under Article XX-D elects to be a free-agent immediately after being outrighted, the player's contract is terminated and the player receives no termination pay. (Because unsigned players do not receive termination pay, players eligible to be minor league free-agents under Article XX-D who are outrighted during the off-season before being tendered a contract for the following season almost always opt for free-agency immediately). But if the outrighted player accepts the Outright Assignment, the player's existing contract remains in force, and the player can elect free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. (A player who had the option to elect free-agency upon being outrighted only because he had been eligible for Salary Arbitration as a "Super Two" after the previous season does NOT have the right to defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season). However, an outrighted player who deferred the right to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent until the conclusion of the MLB regular season is NOT eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season.

ARTICLE XIX-A
: Any MLB player who has accrued at least five years of MLB service time (or any international player with Article XIX-A contractual rights) has the right to be a free-agent if the player is optioned or outrighted to the minors. The player can exercise this right upon being optioned or outrighted to the minors, or he can defer the right until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (he is given three days to decide if he is optioned or outrighted during Spring Training or the MLB regular season, and he has eight days to make up his mind if he is outrighted during the off-season). If a player eligible to be a free-agent under Article XIX-A elects to be a free-agent immediately after being optioned or outrighted, the player's contract is terminated and the player receives no termination pay. (Because unsigned players do not receive termination pay, players eligible to be minor league free-agents under Article XIX-A who are outrighted during the off-season before being tendered a contract for the following season almost always opt for free-agency immediately). But if the player accepts the Optional or Outright Assignment, the player's existing contract remains in force, and the player can elect free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. However, an Article XIX-A  player who deferred the right to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent until the conclusion of the MLB regular season is NOT eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season.

MLB RULE 55
: Sometimes called a "Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent," an unsigned minor league player is automatically declared a free-agent at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series if the player has had his first contract renewed six times and has spent all or any part of at least seven separate seasons on a minor league roster (including all or parts of any season spent on Optional Assignment to the minors), and/or if the player has been previously released or non-tendered in his career and his present contract (known as a "second contract" even if it's his third or fourth minor league contract) has expired. For purposes of determining eligibility to be a free-agent, a player does not accrue a minor league season if the player spends the entire season on an MLB Active List, MLB Disabled List(s), and/or other MLB Inactive List, or if the player spends an entire season on the Restricted List, Disqualified List, Suspended List, Ineligible List, Voluntarily Retired List, and/or Military List. Also, participation in a post-season instructional league or winter league and/or the Arizona Fall League (AFL) does not count toward a minor league season if the player otherwise did not accrue a minor league season that year. Note that a player who ordinarily would have been declared a Rule 55 minor league free-agent is NOT eligible to be a free-agent if the player is either added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or agrees to a minor league successor contract with his previous club by 5:00 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series. (The deadline is 5:00 PM Eastern on October 15th if the World Series is canceled).

NON-TENDER: If an unsigned player on a minor league reserve list is not tendered a contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on January 15th (or by 5 PM Eastern on Jauuary 14th if January 15th falls on a Saturday, or by 5 PM Eastern on January 13th if January 15th falls on a Sunday), the player will be declared a free-agent. 

A minor league free-agent can sign a contract with any major league or minor league club (including the player's former club) without any restrictions. A club receives no compensation for losing a minor league free-agent.

Comments

AZ Phil, do you think the Cubs will try to retain Brian Matusz? It looks like the Cubs will be needing LHP next year with the probable loss of Chapman and T. Wood.

HAGSAG: The Cubs probably offered Matusz a 2017 minor league successor contract (as they did with Leathersich), but even if he declines to sign one and walks, the Cubs could still sign him to a 2017 minor league contract (with an NRI to Spring Training) at a later date if he can't find a better offer from another organization (or foreign league).

For instance, I strongly suspect Cubs minor league 6YFA-to-be RHSP Stephen Fife (presently pitching in the Dominican Winter League) will sign with a Japanese (NPB) team, because a scout from an NPB club was at all of his rehab outings at Extended Spring Training and the NPB club was hoping to acquire from the Cubs, except then Fife re-injured his oblique.

PHIL: Assuming the Cubs add Leathersich to the 40, what are they getting as of today? How has he looked since his ladt surgery?

E-MAN: Jack Leathersich generally pitched well when I saw him throw in games at EXST and for the AZL Cubs (features an 89-91 MPH FB and a plus-curve) and he's a decent relief option going forward, but he has control lapses from time-to-time that might relate to his TJS rehab. I'm not sure that he is 100% back yet (he had the TJS in July 2015).

"Angels acquired OF Cameron Maybin from the Tigers for RHP Victor Alcantara; exercised Maybin's $9 million club option for 2017." alcantara has great stuff, and no idea how to use it. interesting gamble for DET.

I'm trying to stream the event today through MLB.COM and it's not working. Is anyone else having any luck with this?

Ok, I found this link, WGN stream: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball... Pandemonium! Wish I could be there.

INF Munenori Kawasaki has elected free-agency (he could have opted for Salary Arbitration instead). Still waiting on Cubs to decide whether to exercise club options on Dexter Fowler and Jason Hammel, although Fowler has stated in an interview that he intends to decline his part of the mutual option. Cubs would then have to decide whether to extend Fowler a Qualifying Offer ($17.2M guaranteed 2017 contract), and if a QO is extended, Fowler would then have one week to accept it or decline. And if a QO is extended and Fowler declines, Cubs would get a comp draft pick if Fowler signs a major league contract with another MLB club prior to the next June draft (the same set of circumstances that led Fowler to sign a one-year contract with mutual option for 2017 with the Cubs at the start of Spring Training).

Duane Underwood - I may have missed a previous post on this, but do you know anything about why he was sent home from the AFL after just 2 short (and ineffective) outings? Thought he needed innings more than anything, so that seemed kind of ominous.

RHP Jose Rosario has indeed been added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster). Also, RHP Andury Acevedo, RHP Dallas Beeler, and C Tim Federowicz have been sent outright to AAA Iowa. Acevedo will be declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA if he does not sign a 2017 minor league successor contract, and Federowicz has the right to elect to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent (because he has been outrighted previously in his career), but even if he doesn't elect free-agency per Article XX-D he will be declared an MLB Rule 55 6YFA if he does not sign a 2017 minor league successor contract. Beeler does not have right to elect free-agency if outrighted and he is not eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA post-2016 either, so he will remain under club control through the 2017 season, although he is eligible for selection in next month's MLB Rule 5 Draft. However, since he wasn't claimed off waivers ($20,000 waiver claiming price with no roster restrictions), it is very unlikely that he will be selected in the Rule 5 Draft ($50,000 draft price plus roster restrictions);

Say AZ Phil, what is the status of Gerardo Concepcion? I show that his contract is up and should also be becoming a free agent. Is that right?

ALEXANDER: Gerardo Concepcion's original five-year major league contract signed in 2012 has expired, but he is still under club control (his contract can be automatically renewed by the club) just like any other pre-arbitration player who is unsigned for the next season. The problem for the Cubs is that Concepcion made $1M in the last year of his contract, and so his salary in a 2017 major league contract must be at least 80% of his last year's salary (so that means $800K) and his "minor league split" salary must be at least 60% of his last year's salary (meaning $600K), and if he is outrighted to the minors his 2017 minor league salary would have to be at least $600K. So I would expect the Cubs to non-tender Concepcion on 12/2 and then try and sign him to a more "normal" contract for a player in his class, meaning either a 2017 minor league contract with maybe a $100K salary or a major league contact for something around the MLB minimum salary (currently $507,500) if he's on the 25-man roster and a $100K minor league "split salary" if he is optioned to the minors. Of course once he is non-tendered, Concepcion does not have to re-sign with the Cubs. He would be free to sign a 2017 major league or minor league contract with any MLB club (including the Cubs) or with a pro team in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, etc. The key thing for the Cubs is that Concepcion's 2017 contract needs to be a "second-contract" (player must be either released or non-tendered before he signs the contract) so that the 20% max cut from his 2016 salary and 40% max cut on his minor league split salary (or minor league salary if he is outrighted) will not apply. Also, if Concepcion is outrighted to the minors he would have the right to elect to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent because he was outrighted previously in his career, but since his 2017 minor league salary if outrighted would be $600K (60% of his 2016 salary), he probably would actually accept the outright assignment because no way he gets $600K on the open market. That's also why the Cubs don't want to outright him, and why no other rational MLB club would claim him if he were to be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers. The Cubs would sooner non-tender him, trade him, or even release him than outright him to the minors. He's a peculiar case.

AZ Phil: There's a lot going on with that one. Thanks for sorting it out!

19 Cubs minor leaguers were declared MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agents Monday afternoon. link Two players eligible to be minor league 6YFA have signed 2017 minor league successor contracts: Gioskar Amaya, C-IF-OF Nick Sarianides, RHP

The Cubs have re-signed 26-year old minor league FA RHRP Andury Acevedo. He was outrighted to AAA Iowa on Monday, then was automatically declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA later that day. Although he will be eligible for selection in next month's Rule 5 Draft, it is very unlikely that he will be selected ($50,000 Rule 5 Draft price with roster restrictions) since he wasn't claimed off waivers ($20,000 waiver claim price with no roster restrictions).

Acevedo was a minor league 6YFA (NYY) this time last year and was signed by the Cubs to a major league contract as a raw "future investment" (it is VERY unusual for a minor league 6YFA to sign a major league contract). He was optioned to AA Tennessee out of Spring Training, but suffered a knee injury (torn ACL) in April and spent the rest of the 2016 season on the Tennessee 60-day DL. NOTE: Acevedo was injured after being optioned to the minors, so he was NOT on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL, and thus he did not accrue any MLB Service Time in 2016.

FA RPs I'm still thinkin Jensen is gonna be the Cubs new RP for 2017. Recovered Rendon, Jensen, Carl. Not bad.

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  • crunch 17 hours 54 min ago (view)

    don't worry, i'm sure even though he was spared from cuts there's some hardship he's being tortured with that he has to unfairly overcome.  #coreystrong #onthecross #yolo #swag #kony2012

     

  • crunch 17 hours 55 min ago (view)

    there's no way a system like that or something similar to that would work.

    "oh hi." - green bay packers

    *shoves out of way*

    like i said, there's no way that would work.

     

  • Hagsag 20 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Corey Black still has a job.

     

  • Charlie 20 hours 59 min ago (view)

    I am ready for MLB owners to give it a f***ing rest. I don't have any outrage to spare on them.

    If they can't afford this crisis, maybe they can surrender franchise rights to the players, grounds crew, concession employees, etc., and MLB teams can be employee owned.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Couldn't have said it better myself, unfortunately.

     

  • JustSayin' 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    These players weren't cut/released; laid off is more like it. Fifty-two minor leaguers let go before any real games played, in two waves. The draft will be five rounds this year, not forty.  This is industrial downsizing, anticipating no traditional season this year and capitulation to MLB demands for a much smaller minor league system in 2021.  Next year or 2022 could also see a labor stoppage in the big leagues, over what promises to be a very tough CBA negotiation.  The game will not be what it used to be after this.

     

  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    i don't blame the ownership/font office for doing what they did with bryant.  it was just kinda bad timing that bryant was the client that boras was finally "i'm sick of this" over.  the cubs were warned that boras was going to make a stand and it dragged on so long there has to be some kind of toll on the boras/cubs relationship.

     

  • bigsky33 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Hi Phil, yes, hoping for an extended AZ Fall League.  Do you think there will be more cuts?  De La Cruz was the only big sureprise to me. I thought he had some upside. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    It'll be more over when Kris leaves. Or whenever the same thing happens to another of his clients.

    He isn't wrong though...

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Presuming there is no traditional minor league season in 2020, expect an expanded Arizona Fall League (with potentially a new "Florida Fall League" as well) for the best prospects and expanded post-season instructs for other minor leaguers (all TBA). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    My understanding is that the other two Cubs minor leaguers who are to be released are the two post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agents who signed 2020 minor league contracts, Brandon Morrow and Jason Kipnis. The Cubs will then supposedly re-sign them to new minor league contracts without the $100K retention bonus and 6/1 opt-out. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: Agreed. Not counting the "4-A" guys, Oscar de la Cruz is the one legit MLB prospect on the list.  

     

  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    aww...de la cruz had some decent looking spring outings (though late inning spring work isn't exactly challenging).  the years of injuries insanely slowed his progression.  totally wouldn't mind seeing him return in 2021 if the team would still be on his radar after getting cut at a time like this.

     

  • crunch 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    that whole "kris bryant thing" is over...but it's never going to be over as long as this ownership group and boras is around.

    boras could have focused this on 29 other teams, especially the more vocal ones because the cubs have been mostly silent.  the cubs aren't the only team out there paying off "creatively financed" loans, either.

    he chose the cubs.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Not looking forward to seeing that list. Hate to see it when a guy you've invested any sort of energy in is given up on.

     

  • Cubster 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    Chi Tribune today. Boras picks, and focused on the Ricketts. 

    Headline writer, fun job: Agent won’t let Cubs get away Scott-free Matt York/AP and Paul Sullivan.

    Boras told his players “the game can not be played without you” and asked them to share the concept with teammates and opposing players when “MLB requests further concessions or deferral of salaries” during negotiations.