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 9 
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 9 (FORMERLY 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: 9-21-2021

2021 ARTICLE XX-B MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER:
NONE

POST-2021 ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT
NONE

POST-2021 ARTICLE XIX-A MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT
Andrew Romine, INF   

MLB RULE 9 FREE-AGENT POST-2021 WORLD SERIES

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS: 
Jason Adam, RHP 
Jose Almonte, RHP 
Abiatal Avelino, INF
Joe Biagini, RHP 
James Bourque, RHP 
Craig Brooks, RHP (see NOTE)
Jesus Camargo, RHP (see NOTE
Erick Castillo, C 
Dakota Chalmers, RHP (see NOTE
Yovanny Cuevas, OF (see NOTE
Donnie Dewees, OF (see NOTE
Johneshwy Fargas, OF 
Taylor Gushue, C
Mike Hauschild, RHP 
Ben Holmes, LHP
Bryan Hudson, LHP (see NOTE)
Tyler Ladendorf, INF 
Ryan Lawlor, LHP (see NOTE)
Luis Lugo, LHP 
Dillon Maples, RHP 
Ian Miller, OF
Nicholas Padilla, RHP (see NOTE)
Tyler Payne, C (see NOTE)
C. D. Pelham, LHP (see NOTE)
Raymond Pena, C (see NOTE)
Eury Ramos, RHP (see NOTE)
Aneuris Rosario, RHP (see NOTE)
Marcus Walden, RHP 
Joe Wieland, RHP 
NOTE: Brooks, Camargo, Chalmers, Cuevas, Dewees, Hudson, Lawlor, Padilla, Payne, Pelham, R. Pena, E. Ramos, and A. Rosario are eligible to be MLB Rule 9 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 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 9 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 by TEX)
Andres Bonalde, LHP (previously released by CUBS)
Edwin Figuera, INF (previously released by STL)
Juan Gamez, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Adam Katz, LHP (previously released by BAL)
Ryan Kellogg, LHP (previously released by CUBS)
Garrett Kelly, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Austin Krzeminski, RHP (previously released by LAA) 
Jackson McClelland, RHP (previously released by TOR)
Carlos Sepulveda, INF (previously released by LAD) 
Dalton Stambaugh, LHP (previously released by BAL)
Tyler Suellentrop, RHP (previously released by SEA)
Tim Susnara, C (previously released by AZ) 
Vance Vizcaino, OF (previously released by KC) 
Harrison Wenson, C (previously released by LAA)
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).

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  • bradsbeard 1 hour 17 min ago (view)

    On the position player side, Amaya if he's healthy. Chase Strumpf makes a lot of sense (missed some time early and late, missed all of last year). Nelson Velazquez maybe as a Rule 5 guy if they're on the fence. Cam Balego and Andy Weber are two other candidates if healthy. Luis Vazquez could also use more upper level PAs and would make sense.

    Lots of potential pitchers. Ideally Marquez but not sure they'll let him pitch this year. McAvene is probably another one. Would be awesome if Kohl Franklin could participate. 

     

  • First.Pitch.120 2 hours 34 min ago (view)

    Thanks!

     

  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Cubs select contract of RHRP Jason Adam from AAA Iowa and he will be the "29th man" in today's DH with STL. Also,.C Robinson Chirinos to 10-day IL with oblique strain, and OF Greg Deichmann has been recalled from Iowa.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 17 min ago (view)

    FP120: The Cubs have been working on pick-off plays, baserunning including rundown ("pickle") drills, amd bunt defense in pre-game and Camp Day instructional work, so it's kind of a "Point of Emphasis." Apparently it's still a work-in-progress for a lot of the guys.And it's not just pick-off plays, either. At least two or three guys have been picked-off in the first three games and there have been a couple of other baserunning gaffes as well. But that's what instructs is for, right?

     

  • First.Pitch.120 21 hours 11 min ago (view)

    So what's the deal with 5 pick off attempt errors in 3 games?

     

  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 8 min ago (view)

    Because the Cubs play only the Angels, A's, and Rockies in Instructs this year, I would not be surprised if the Cubs make a trade or two with one or more of those clubs, most especially the Angels, who might be interested in acquiring Kyle Hendricks (since they certainly can't do a rebuild with Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon on the roster). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 10 min ago (view)

    The pitching-starved Angels established an MLB (and probably Ripley's Believe It or Not) record by selecting - ONLY - pitchers in the 2021 draft. That's twenty pitchers. No position players. They signed 19 of the twenty, and five of them pitched in today's game (2021 15th round pick Glenn Albanese Jr started the game, followed by 18th round pick Nick Mondak, 7th round pick Ryan Costeiu, 8th round pick Nick Jones, and 16th round pick Nick Dufault). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 22 hours 10 min ago (view)

    Cubs 2020 4rh round draft pick 6'8 220+ LHSP Luke Little threw mainly a 93-97 FB with an occasional CV and CH mixed-in but pitched mostly from behind in the count, issuing two walks, hitting a batter, and throwing a WP (and surrendering a towering three-run HR) in 2.1 IP of work, LHP Angel Rodriguez was able to throw strikes with a 90-91 MPH FB, CH, and CV mix, but was pounded to the tune of five singles, a double, and a triple in just 2.2 IP, Cubs 2021 14th round draft pick RHRP Frankie Scalzo featured a 93-95 MPH FB but sometimes hung his SL and was hit hard and allowed a HR and five sing

     

  • crunch 1 day 36 min ago (view)

    chris clarke could use the work.

    brennen davis...bryce ball and casey opitz, maybe.  *shrug*

    i'd like to see ethan roberts in the mix.

     

  • ggross 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Phil (or anyone else),

    Who are your guesses for Cubs in the Fall League this year?  When will the announcements be made?  Thanks!

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    My guess is another reliever. Already have Romine around to back up Willson, wins don't matter, might as well use his worthless ass.

     

     

  • tim815 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    So, Erick Castillo for Robinson Chirinos?

     

  • Childersb3 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Phil, is that the one of the best Cubs AZIL team games you've seen in a while? It reads like it!!!!

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    BOB: They play mostly in the afternoon, sometimes in the morning, some teams are playing night games.  Fan attendance varies from place to place. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have added Bryan Serra to their Instructs roster. Serra was signed as a 19-year old infielder out of Venezuela in August 2020, and began the catcher conversion program at Minor League Camp this past April. He will be continuing the process at Instructs.   

     

  • crunch 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    hendricks...

    i miss good hendricks.