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: 10-15-2020
 

2020 ARTICLE XX-B MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER:
NONE 

POST-2020 ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT
Matt Dermody, LHP (elected free-agency on 9/28)
Ian Miller, OF (elected free-agency on 10/14)
Patrick Wisdom, 1B-3B (elected free-agency on 10/7)

POST-2020 ARTICLE XIX-A MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT
NONE  

MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT POST-2020 WORLD SERIES

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS: 
Corey Black, RHP
Erick Castillo, C 
Eric Gonzalez, C
Luke Hagerty, LHP
Danny Hultzen, LHP
Luis Lugo, LHP
Ivan Medina, RHP
Jordan Minch, LHP
Erling Moreno, RHP  
Tyler Olson, LHP  
Josh Osich, LHP
Eugenio Palma, LHP
Hernan Perez, INF-OF
Pedro Strop, RHP 
Jerrick Suiter, RHP/1B  
Jerry Vasto, LHP
Joe Wieland, RHP 
Mark Zagunis, OF

SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS (see NOTE below)
Aneudis Beard RHP (previously released by TEX)
Garrett Kelly, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Ryan Lawlor, LHP (previously released by ATL)
Jorge Ramirez, LHP (previously released by TEX)
Juan Vasquez, C (previously released by SD)
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 2020 season (TBD).

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  • Charlie 8 hours 56 min ago (view)

    Lol at Nico getting nominated for riding the bench a lot.

     

  • crunch 10 hours 55 min ago (view)

    RF Jason Heyward, SS Javier Baez, 2B Nico Hoerner, 1B Anthony Rizzo, C Willson Contreras, and Ps Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills gold glove finalists

     

  • bradsbeard 14 hours 50 min ago (view)

    Thank you, sir! Sounds like a nice get for the Cubs, and a good project for (what's left of) the new development infrastructure. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 39 min ago (view)

    There have been some holes in the AZIL east-side schedule, with one team canceling games last week (although they are back playing this week) and another canceling game this week due to CoViD-19 issue, so the other teams (like the Cubs) are making up some of the "lost" games with intrasquad and in-house "sim" games. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 16 hours 34 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: From what I have seen of Jacob Wetzel so far (BP, fielding practice, base-running drills, sim games, AZIL games, and yesterday's intasquad game), I would say he looks like a football running back playing baseball in that he has a high motor and plays with a bit of an edge.

    He has a thick body but he also has plus speed (very much like a football running back in that respect), he runs the bases aggressively, makes hard contact, has HR power, a decent arm, maybe can use some work in the outfield as far as tracking balls. 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Phil, curious if you've seen enough of Jacob Wetzel to offer an initial scouting report. Just from watching some prep video he looked pretty strong and fairly athletic (HS football player and all). Impressive numbers albeit in community college, but he was a division 1 recruit before that so he's pretty intriguing to me. 

     

  • KingKongvsGodzilla 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    AZPhil, thank you for these updates! It's a nice little pick me up during this dumb year. If you have anything to say on Yohendrick Pinango, Joel Machado, Rafael Morel, or Richard Gallardo, I would love to hear it! Thanks again!

     

  • crunch 3 days 13 hours ago (view)

    jim hickey new nats pitching coach.

     

  • bradsbeard 4 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Several non-prospects ate up spots as well. Ultimately wish they had given a few more Rivas types a shot there. 

     

  • tim815 4 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Only 60 spots in SB. Others benefited more from the time.

     

  • crunch 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    not phil, but i think everyone is holding off on his potential ceiling until he gains enough weight to not look like someone you want to buy a sandwich every time you see him.

    big upside if his skills can strengthen as he builds his body.

    too early for a solid comp, but i wouldn't feel uncomfortable throwing ian happ's name around (bit better arm than happ, though).

     

  • bradsbeard 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Me too. Thought it was weird he wasn't in South Bend at all. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 18 hours ago (view)

    I am very, very intrigued by Rivas. If the DH is unfortunately here to stay, he's a prime candidate for that and give Rizzo a day off 1B here and there. If no DH, hopefully he is a passable OF. Big believer in his hitting ability

     

  • Hagsag 4 days 20 hours ago (view)

    Phil, do you think Chris Morel is the real deal?

     

  • tim815 5 days 10 hours ago (view)

    http://www.milb.com/roster/index.jsp?cid=609&sid=milb

    Blue and Red DSL instructs rosters. No Brayan Altuve.

    http://www.milb.com/roster/index.jsp?cid=2270&sid=...

     

  • crunch 5 days 12 hours ago (view)

    yup, they're gonna try.  starts in about a month.