Minor League Free Agency

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 two days to decide if he is outrighted during Spring Training or the MLB regular season, and he has three 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 two days to decide if he is optioned or outrighted during Spring Training or the MLB regular season, and he has three 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: 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 (the deadline is October 15th if the World Series is canceled) if the player 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 on a minor league Injured List) 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 minor league free-agent where spending seven separate seasons on a minor league roster is required, 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 prior to 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series.  

NON-TENDER: If an unsigned MLB player is outrighted to a minor league club after the conclusion of the MLB regular season and then is not tendered a minor league contract by January 15th (or January 14th if January 15th falls on a Saturday or January 13th if January 15th falls on a Sunday), the player is a free-agent. If a minor league player under club control (a minor league "auto-renewal" player) is not tendered a salary addendum by March 15th, the player is a free-agent.

A minor league free-agent can sign a major league or minor league contract with any club (including the player's former club) without any restrictions.

A club receives no compensation for losing a minor league free-agent.

LAST UPDATED: 4-17-2021

2021 ARTICLE XX-B MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER:
NONE

POST-2021 ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT
Ildemaro Vargas, INF 

POST-2021 ARTICLE XIX-A MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT
Pedro Strop, RHP  

MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT POST-2021 WORLD SERIES

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS: 
Sergio Alcantara, INF 
Abiatal Avelino, INF
Joe Biagini, RHP 
James Bourque, RHP 
Craig Brooks, RHP (see NOTE)
Jesus Camargo, RHP (see NOTE
Erick Castillo, C 
Yovanny Cuevas, OF (see NOTE
Donnie Dewees, OF (see NOTE
Scott Effross, RHP (see NOTE)
Taylor Gushue, C 
Michael Hermosillo, OF
P. J. Higgins, C-INF (see NOTE
Ben Holmes, LHP
Bryan Hudson, LHP (see NOTE)
Jake Jewell, RHP 
Trevor Kelley, RHP 
Ryan Kellogg, LHP (see NOTE)
Ryan Lawlor, LHP (see NOTE)
Jose Lobaton, C 
Luis Lugo, LHP 
Nick Martini, OF 
Cameron Maybin, OF 
Trevor Megill, RHP (see NOTE)
Ryan Meisinger, RHP 
Fidel Mejia, INF (see NOTE)
Ian Miller, OF
Adam Morgan, LHP 
Jose Moreno, RHP
Rafael Ortega, OF 
Nicholas Padilla, RHP (see NOTE)
Tyler Payne, C (see NOTE)
C. D. Pelham, LHP (see NOTE)
Raymond Pena, C (see NOTE)
Gustavo Polanco, C-1B (see NOTE)
Eury Ramos, RHP (see NOTE)
Andrew Romine, INF
Aneuris Rosario, RHP (see NOTE)
D. J. Snelten, LHP  
Robert Stock, RHP 
Jerrick Suiter, RHP (ex-1B)
Joe Wieland, RHP 
D. J. Wilson, OF (see NOTE)
Patrick Wisdom, 1B-3B 
NOTE: Brooks, Camargo, Cuevas, Dewees, Effross, Higgins, Hudson, Kellogg, Lawlor, Megill, F. Mejia, Padilla, Payne, Pelham, R. Pena, Polanco, E. Ramos, A. Rosario, and Wilson are eligible to be MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA for the first time post-2021, but only if the 2020 season is considered a "qualified season" toward minor league free-agency for those players. (Even though the 2020 minor league season was canceled before it began, the 2020 season - WAS - considered to be a "qualified season" for minor leaguers who were eligible to be Rule 55 minor league 6YFA for the first time post-2020). However, if the canceled 2020 minor league season is not considered to be a "qualified season" for players eligible to be Rule 55 minor league 6YFA post-2021, then those players will not be eligible to be free agents after the World Series.     

SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS (see NOTE below)
Michael Arias, INF / RHP (previously released by TOR)
Aneudis Beard, RHP (previously released byt TEX) 
Juan Gamez, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Garrett Kelly, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Vance Vizcaino, OF (previously released by KC) 
NOTE: With mutual consent (player & club), a second-contract minor league player who has accrued fewer than seven minor league seasons can be signed to a multi-year minor league contract with club control extending up through the player's seventh minor league season. So it is possible that one or more of the Cubs minor league second contract players are signed beyond the 2019 season (TBD).

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 31 min 35 sec ago (view)

    Infielders Ed Howard IV, Fabian Pertuz, Ryan Reynolds, and Yeison Santana, 1B Grayson Byrd, and OF Darius Hill  have been moved down to the Myrtle Beach (Lo-A) squad from the South Bend (Hi-A) squad at Minor League Camp. 

     

  • Jackstraw 1 hour 21 min ago (view)

    I think somebody finally found and turned off the SUCK mode on their Cubs game controller. 

    It's important we ALL do that, every day.

     

  • crunch 4 hours 40 min ago (view)

    i think the cubs can risk losing shelby miller.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 26 min ago (view)

    Contreras is amazing. It's why I've been so adamant that its completely nuts how often he's popped up in trade rumors. 

     

  • Sonicwind75 5 hours 28 min ago (view)

    And the baseball gods smite us with great vengeance. 

     

  • crunch 6 hours 16 min ago (view)

    in a world of bryzzo and baez, contreras deserves his props for his all-around game.

    he protected lester's shortcomings for years.  good luck with that 40% caught stealing rate and less people attempting it in WAS with aged alex avila and yan gomes, guy.

     

  • crunch 6 hours 34 min ago (view)

    cubs are scoring runs early and have a lead.

    i'm not prepared for this.  deep down inside i'm nearly positive this is a good thing, but i'm going to do some research and try to make sure this is a good thing.

    okay, i just checked with my friend that's a dodgers fan and this is a good thing.  go cubs.

    game 14...only the 2nd time with multiple extra base hits in an inning for the cubs this year according to boog.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 7 hours 49 min ago (view)

    Winkler and Workman return today, Steele and Strop head to alternate site.  Yay

     

  • Charlie 9 hours 33 min ago (view)

    No numbers really needed to show that this offense is terrible right now, but I decided to peruse team stats today to see exactly where the Cubs have struggled the most. I was unsurprised to find they have the third highest pull %, the second lowest line drive %, and the highest K% in the majors right now. BABIP is also the lowest in the majors, whih is to be expected when the team is making poor contact and doing so in the teeth of the shift.

    That's not fun baseball to watch.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 10 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Don't worry, Joc is DEFINITELY an upgrade.

     

  • CTSteve 12 hours 39 sec ago (view)

    And off of a lefty. 

    Neat.

     

  • Arizona Phil 16 hours 14 min ago (view)

    Most players get only three minor league options, but a player who has accrued less than five "full seasons" is eligible for a 4th minor league option.

     

  • Charlie 19 hours 44 min ago (view)

    I agree that Contreras really sticks that front elbow (and shoulder and to some extent his head) pretty close to the zone. Plus he likes to reach toward the outer half to pull the ball and sometimes to lunge a little at the outside corner, so pitchers will want to work him inside frequently. He should get a thicker elbow guard.

     

  • bradsbeard 20 hours 48 min ago (view)

    Sounds like Steele will be in line for a 4th option year FWIW. 

     

  • crunch 21 hours 55 min ago (view)

    limited capacity (and it's a "thunderstick" giveaway night), but LAD @ SD is practically a playoff level atmosphere here in april.

    this one could be hot for years.

     

  • crunch 23 hours 31 min ago (view)

    icing on the cake...

    k.schwarber hits a walk-off 2nd deck homer to win it for WAS in the bottom 9th tonight.