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: 9-9-2022

2022 ARTICLE XX-B MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER:
NONE AT THIS TIME 

POST-2022 ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT
Clint Jackson Frazier, OF

POST-2022 ARTICLE XIX-A MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT
NONE AT THIS TIME 

MLB RULE 9 FREE-AGENT POST-2022 WORLD SERIES:

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS POST-2022:
Jose Albertos, RHP 
James Bourque, RHP 
Craig Brooks, RHP (on RESTRICTED LIST)
Jesus Camargo, RHP (on RESTRICTED LIST)
Erick Castillo, C 
Kervin Castro, RHP 
Zach Davis, OF 
Donnie Dewees, OF 
Trent Giambrone, INF 
Stephen Gonsalves, LHP 
John Hicks, C 
Jonathan Holder, RHP 
Bryan Hudson, LHP 
Dakota Mekkes, RHP 
Tyler Payne, C 
C. D. Pelham, LHP
Yonathan Perlaza, OF 
Carlos Sepulveda, INF 
Wyatt Short, LHP 
Jonathan Sierra, OF 
Matt Swarmer, RHP 
Dauris Valdez, RHP 
Delvin Zinn, INF

SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS (see NOTE below)
Michael Arias, RHP (previously released by TOR)
Andres Bonalde, LHP (on RESTRICTED LIST - previously released by CUBS)
Stanley Guzman, RHP (previously released by TEX)
Kyle Johnson, RHP (previously released by NYY)
Fraiman Marte, RHP (previously released by STL)
Abel Moya, RHP (previously released by LAD)
Dalton Stambaugh, LHP (previously released by BAL)
Tim Susnara, C (previously released by AZ)
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 2022 season (TBD).

Recent comments

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  • JoePepitone 9 hours 29 min ago (view)

    Happ has really grabbed that position and made it his own!  Especially the way he goes after balls down the left field foul line by the wall in Wrigley.  Not a wasted motion.

     

  • JoePepitone 9 hours 31 min ago (view)

    First season sweep by either team of the other in their entire history -- going back to 1883!

     

  • crunch 14 hours 27 min ago (view)

    cubs sweep the phillies...season sweep, too.

     

  • crunch 14 hours 32 min ago (view)

    if ian happ doesn't win a gold glove it's a useless, meaningless award.

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Sounds like a future September call up to be a pinch runner in high leverage situations. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    j.steele not expected to return in 2022.  he's not shut down, but he's not going to be rushed to make it back before the season ends.

    suzuki still not in the lineup wednesday.

     

  • JoePepitone 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil - Thanks for the insight! Regarding his swing, I recall that releasing the top hand as a right handed batter (ala the Charlie Lau method) made a real difference for me in being able to get out of the right handed batters' box, as the follow through was no longer pulling me over towards third base that way. I also didn't lose any power when I switched my swing over. 
     

     

  • Childersb3 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Phil,

    From what you're seeing in Mesa now and from the ACL summer games, how does this group of Instruct guys compare to past groups with regard to tools? Like from 1 to 10 or the 20 to 80 scale? Are they more toolsy than recent, past classes? Speed, power, size, etc.

    I get that's a dumb question because all of these guys are rookies and under 21 or 22 yrs old (most being teenagers) so it's all tools, but I was just curious. It seems that most of them have one tool that stands out. Always curious of your opinion of the groups.

    Thanks!

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    JOE P: Tony Campana is (or at least was) probably faster home-to-first only because he was a LH hitter and had a swing where the momentum took him toward first base, whereas Erbin Jaque has a full-blast RH power-swing (he has apparently never heard of "small ball") and so it takes him a beat to get out of the box. But I would say Jaque is faster than Campana running around the bases (like 1st to home).  

     

  • crunch 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    overturned on challenge...tagged out coming off the bag while sliding.

    0-2.  boo.  what a bum.

     

  • crunch 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    contreras double in his 2nd ab...108.8mph off the bat.

     

  • crunch 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    d.ross was booing schwarber (playfully) when he came to the plate at the top 1st.

    baseball is fun.

     

  • crunch 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    alexander canario hit HR #5 for iowa today (78 PA).  he's got 36 across A+ to AAA.

    righty, plays all 3 OF slots (dunno how good any of it is, though).

    he came over in the SF/bryant trade with killian.

     

  • crunch 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    contreras back!  DH'ing, hitting 3rd.

    suzuki back, but not in the lineup.

    j.young optioned to AAA, hermosillo DFA'd

    madrigal (IL, groin) will not return this year.  he's doing light baseball activity, but he won't progress fast enough to return.  his game relies very heavily on hauling ass any time he makes contact as well as being able to quickly move around and pivot in the IF.

     

  • crunch 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    official attendance was 8,766.  there was no where near that amount of people in the park, not even half that.

    https://twitter.com/DannyVietti/status/1574611731678052352

    https://twitter.com/JMackeyPG/status/1574529685823840261

    it was a little cold, but the weather was clear.

     

  • Cubster 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    S Sharma and P Mooney do a Mailbag Q&A including some 40 man roster stuff. 
    https://theathletic.com/3632284/2022/09/27/cubs-prospect-camp-kyle-hendr...

    Athletic subscription required.