Two 2019 MLB Rules Changes of Note

7/5 RE-POST: I posted this about three months ago, but here it is again since we are within a month of the 2019 MLB trade deadline... 

4/9 ORIGINAL POST 


There were a couple of changes of note made to MLB Rules in 2019 (they were officially approved this week), one pertaining to Trade Assignment Waivers and the MLB Trade Deadline, and the other with regard to Outright Assignment Waiver claims. 

One change was reported (with much fanfare but without much detail) in the media, but the other one was not reported at all.

So here they both are (in somewhat greater detail).  

1. MLB TRADE DEADLINE

A trade involving a player signed to an MLB contract (any player on an MLB Reserve List including players on Optional Assignment to the minors, 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) have been eliminated starting with the 2019 season. 

HOWEVER

A trade involving a player on a minor league reserve list (excluding any player on a minor leaue reserve list who was outrighted to the minors after signing an MLB contract for that season and any player selected in the June First-Year Player Draft) are permitted after July 31 and extending up until 12 PM (Eastern) on the 7th day prior to the originally-scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season, and then are prohibited for only about a week, 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). However, a player on Optional Assignment to the minors - CAN - be a PTBNL in a trade made involving a player on a minor league reserve list after July 31 as long as the optioned player is not added to an MLB Active List anytime after the trade is consumated up until the PTBNL is named (which must happen within six months, but not before the conclusion of the World Series if the PTBNL is a player on an MLB 40-man roster who was on Optional Assignment when the trade was made).      

SO... 

So while trades involving MLB players (including players on Optional Assignment to the minors and minor league players who were outrighted to the minors sometime previously that year except as they might be a PTBNL) are prohibited after the July 31 deadline, most minor league players (that is, players on minor league reserve lists) can be traded up until a week prior to the scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season (although only players acquired prior to midnight on August 31st would be post-season roster eligible).

That means that an MLB club that sustains an injury to a key player after July 31 can acquire a minor league player from another organizarion that might be able to help that club. Obviously you're not going to get a Justin Verlander or even a Daniel Murphy, but you might be able to get a useful minor league player (as the Cubs did when they acquired minor league OF Terrance Gore from KC last August) with some MLB experience that can maybe help the club at least get to the post-season.    

So it might be prudent for non-contendeing clubs to stock up on MLB-ready minor leaguers at AAA that can possibly be used in trades after July 31st. Or as Erasmus might say, "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

2. OUTRIGHT ASSIGNMENT WAIVERS

Although there is no restriction on Outright Assignment Waiver claims after July 31 (only Trade Assignment Waivers were eliminated), there was a change made regarding Outright Assignment Waivers claims:

For a player who is claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers during the period of time beginning with the first day of Spring Training (the date pitchers & catchers report) through the final game of the MLB regular season, the player cannot be placed back onto Outright Assignment Waivers again for at least 48 hours or until he has spent at least one day on the claiming club's MLB Active List (whichever comes first), and for a player who is claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers during the off-season (the period of time beginning with the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until the first day of Spring Training), the player cannot be placed back onto Outright Assignment Waivers again for at least seven days

Seven days isn't an eternity, but this new requirement should have at least some effect on the waiver claim carousel that goes on during the off-season, especially a waiver claim where the player is claimed and then placed back onto waivers again the next day. That can't happen anymore. A club has to wait at least seven days to place the player back on waivers. 

Also keep in mind that only Trade Assignment Waivers (and Optional Assignment Waivers before they were eliminated in 2017) gave waiver claim priority to clubs within the player's league (a player had to be essentially "waived out of his own league" before a club in the other league could win a Trade Waiver claim). But now that Outright Assignment Waivers and Outright Release Waivers are the only type of waivers left, - ALL - waiver claim priority will be based on a club's record regardless of league (and based on the previous season's standings throughout the off-season through the 30th day of the MLB regular season, and then based on the current standings as of the date the player's two-day waiver claiming period ends beginning on the 31st day of the MLB regular season through the final day of the MLB regular season).      

Comments

I’m a little confused. So a player who signed a major league contract but was optioned and is still on optional assignment can be traded after 7/31, the team just has to announce it as a PTBNL and then name him sometime before the World Series? Can they name him immediately and add him to the roster? If so, why does he have to be a PTBNL? If not, how long do they have to wait?

What happens if a player signs an MLB contract but is released (not outrighted) and then signs a MiLB deal with another club? Can that player be traded?

A player who is released after being outrighted and then subsequently signs a minor league deal with the same club or with another MLB club is no longer considered to be an "outrighted player," so that player can be traded after 7/31. 

A player on an MLB 40-man roster who is on Optional Assignment to the minors cannot be traded during the period of time beginning at 4 PM (Eastern) on 7/31 and extending until the day after the final game of the World Series, but he can be a PTBNL in a trade made before 7/31 or a trade (involving a player on a minor league reserve list) made after 7/31 but prior to the final seven days of the MLB regular season as long as he is not placed on an MLB Active List during the period of time he is a PTBNL, and he cannot be named as a PTBNL during the period of time extendung from 4 PM (Eastern) on 7/31 through the conclusion of the World Series (that is, until 9 AM Eastern on the day after the final game of the World Series). 

A player who signs after being selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft) or who was eligible for selection in the Rule 4 Draft but was not selected and who signs with an MLB club as a Non-Drafted Free-agent (NDFA) cannot be traded for at least 90 days or until after the conclusion of the World Series (no earlier than 9 AM on the day after the final game of the World Series) -- WHICHEVER COMES LAST. 

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. 

I see what the PTBNL rule is saying now. Those players can be included as a PTBNL in a post-deadline deal but they cannot be named/added to the roster until after the World Series. So they wouldn’t be available to play for the new team during the remainder of the regular season or playoffs, correct? 

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  • Charlie 20 min 59 sec ago (view)

    Cheap may not be the right word, but has put up reasonable value per dollar compared to other relievers prior to this ear.

    He accrued 2.9 bWAR 2017-2018. Strop put up 3.2 bWAR during the same period. Edwards is making $1.5M this year. Strop is making $6.25M. He'll get a bump again this offseason even if he doesn't rebound in the second half, of course. I just don't see a need to trade him unless the Cubs are being offered value in return.

    That said, it does make my stomach knot up a bit when I see they are bringing him into a close game.

     

  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Carl Edwards Jr will be out of minor league options next season (2020), and he will (once again) be arbitration-eligible post-2019 (he was "Super Two" arb eligible post-2018) and he will be a FA post-2022. 

     

  • crunch 13 hours 40 min ago (view)

    cubs lose, cards win, brews win.

    boo.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 26 min ago (view)

    I think this is his last option year. And he’s not as cheap as you’d think, he’s a super two qualified player this year.

     

  • Charlie 15 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Edwards is frustrating at times. Some of that frustration comes from thinking he could be much better than he currently is. But prior to this year (in which he has pitched very few innings), he's overall been an OK relief pitcher in the majors. I'm happy to wait and see on him for quite a while. Still has an option and is cheap, right?

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 16 hours 35 min ago (view)

    I feel pretty safe in saying that 1. They don’t want him and 2. If they did, things wouldn’t improve for CJ.

    Allowing inherited runners and 1-2 of your own in a close game is what I like to call the “Carl Jr Special.” It was formerly a Justin Grimm special, thankfully Carl stepped up to fill that void.

     

  • crunch 16 hours 43 min ago (view)

    there's always nick castellanos for a chance to rid of edwards...at which point a couple month rental will probably turn edwards into their ace closer or something just as awesome.

     

  • Eric S 16 hours 43 min ago (view)

    The bitter side of me thinks it should have been a two for one trade for Maldonado 

    Anyways, has not been a clean series for the Cubs against the Padres - fortunate to have won the series and a 7-2 home stand is a pretty big dill. Or deal. Or something

     

  • crunch 16 hours 49 min ago (view)

    edwards gonna edwards...blah

     

  • bradsbeard 18 hours 17 min ago (view)

    Thanks for the clarification. Guess we’ll find out what he’s going to do sooner than later. 

     

  • crunch 19 hours 21 min ago (view)

    delay over, game on.

     

  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 58 min ago (view)

    And if Zobrist were to consent to an Optional Assignment to the minors for the purpose of getting into playing shape, it could very well be to AA Tennessee (close to his home in Nashville) rather than to AAA Iowa. He might even just play home games for the Smokies and then work out on his own while they are on the road. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Ben Zobrist (and Tony Barnette) cannot be reinstated from the Restricted List August 1st - October 31st without special approval from the MLB Commissioner (which would be problematic), and Zobrist and Barnette absolutely will - NOT - (under any cicumstances) be eligible to play in the post-season if not reinstated from the Restricted List prior to midnight on August 31st. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Pedro Martinez is a bat-first switch-hitting infielder capable of playing 2B-3B-SS (best position is 2B). He runs well and is a savvy baserunner, shows occasional HR power, and is at least as good a hitter as Reivaj Garcia (probably even better). 

     

  • Jackstraw 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    I checked.  You are correct.  No one.  Ever.

     

  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    joe sure likes putting kimbrel to work.