Restrictions on Optioning/Recalling Players to/from the Minors

GENERAL RESTRICTIONS:

1. Beginning with the 2020 season, no more than 15 players (formerly no more than 16 players) on a club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) may be on Optional Assignment at any one time prior to September 1st, and no more than twelve players may be on Optional Assignment at any one time beginning on September 1st and extending through the conclusion of the MLB regular season.

2. No player may be optioned to the minors prior to the start of Spring Training.

3. Generally an injured player cannot be optioned to the minors. However, an injured player who did not accrue any MLB Service Time during the previous season, has not accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, and was not selected in the previous Rule 5 Draft, can be optioned to the minors during a period of time beginning on the first day of Spring Training until the 15th day prior to the start of the next MLB regular season. 

CAN BE OPTIONED IF INJURED UNTIL 15TH DAY PRIOR TO 2022 MLB OPENING DAY (last updated 11-19-2021):
Miguel Amaya, C 
Alexander Canario, OF 
Anderson Espinoza, RHP 
Brailyn Marquez, LHP 
Christopher Morel, INF
Ethan Roberts, RHP  
Nelson Velazquez, OF
Alexander Vizcaino, RHP  

4. A player who is optioned to the minors generally must remain on Optional Assignment for at least ten days (for a "position player") or 15 days (for a "pitcher or for a "two-way player"), and a "position-player" optioned to the minors during Spring Training generally must remain on Optional Assignment for the first ten days of the MLB regular season and a "pitcher" or a "two-way player" optioned to the minors during Spring Training generally must remain on Optional Assignment for the first 15 days of the MLB regular season. The only exceptions are if the player is traded or claimed off waivers, recalled as the "27th man" for a doubleheader (second game of the doubleheader only if two games were scheduled after a postponed or suspended game from the previous day), or is recalled to replace a player on the MLB Active List (26-man roster) who is traded, claimed off waivers, or placed on the MLB Injured List, Bereavement/Family Medical Emergency List, Paternity Leave List, or Restricted List (but only pursuant to a suspension or administrative leave resulting from a violation or possible violation of the joint MLB-MLBPA JDV policy or a suspension resulting from a violation of the joint MLB-MLBPA JDPTP policy).
NOTE: If a player is acquired in a trade and is optioned to the minors by his new club within 24 hours, the player can be recalled from the Optional Assignment at any time without restriction, but if a player on Optional Assignment to the minors is claimed off waivers and is then optioned to the minors by his new club, the ten-day limit (for "position players") or 15 day limit (for "pitchers" and for "two-way players") does apply. So as far as the ten-day ot 15-day limits are concerned, there is a distinction made between acquiring a player in a trade and claiming a player off waivers.   
CoViD-19 EXCEPTION: The minimum number of days a player generally must remain on Optional Assignment to the minors will be ten days for both position players and for pitchers in 2021.

5. A player on Optional Assignment to the minors must be recalled no later than the day after the conclusion of his club's MLB regular season.

OTHER RESTRICTIONS:

6. A Rule 5 "Selected Player" cannot be optioned to the minors until restrictions have been removed.

RULE 5 SELECTED PLAYERS WITH MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS REMAINING (updated 3-12-2021):
NONE   

7. Beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, a Rule 5 "Draft-Excluded Player" cannot be optioned to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day.
NOTE: An injured player with Draft Excluded Status who otherwise would be eligible to be optioned up until the 15th day prior to MLB Opening Day can be optioned only during a five-day window starting on the 20th day prior to the start of the MLB regular season up until the 15th day prior to the start of the MLB regular season.

POST-2021 DRAFT-EXCLUDED PLAYER WITH MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS REMAINING (last updated 11-30-2021):
Scott Effross, RHP 
Alfonso Rivas, 1B-OF 
Ethan Roberts, RHP 
Nelson Velazquez, OF

8. Per Article XIX-A of the CBA, any player on an MLB 40-man roster who has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time (as well as an international player with Article XIX-A contractual rights) has the right to refuse an Optional Assignment to the minors, or the player can elect to be a free-agent immediately upon being optioned (he has two days to decide).
NOTE: If a player with Article XIX-A rights refuses an Optional Assignment but does not elect free-agency, the club must either retain the player on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) AND Active List, trade the player, or give the player his Outright Release.

9. A player with Article XIX-A rights can waive his right to refuse an Optional Assignment in advance, but the waiver cannot be signed more than ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, the player has the right to designate in advance which minor league team to which he can be assigned, and the waiver automatically expires if the player is not optioned to the minors within 45 days or by the 45th day of the MLB regular season (whichever is later).

CUBS ARTICLE XIX-A PLAYERS WITH MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS REMAINING (last updated 12-1-2021): 
Willson Contreras, C 
Yan Gomes, C 
Kyle Hendricks, RHP
Jason Heyward, OF
Wade Miley, LHP
Marcus Stroman, RHP 

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  • Hagsag 13 hours 42 min ago (view)

    Phil, is the 3 weeks camp going on now?

     

  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 54 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed free-agent LHP Stephen Gonsalves to a 2022 minor league contract.

    If he were to be added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point in 2022, he has no minor league options left and he has Article XX-D rights (he can elect free-agency if outrighted).

    So 78 Cubs minor leaguers are now eligible for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft.

    Also, the Cubs off-season minor league Domestic Reserve List now stands at 173 (17 slots are open).

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: That's correct.

    Under the new rules, the 38-man AAA reserve list is now only used beginning on the date reserve lists are filed in November and extending up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. Then after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, everybody goes back into the off-season 190-man Domestic Reserve List hopper. 

     

  • jdrnym 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Phil, can you settle a Twitter discussion? A team can only select players in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft until its 38-man Triple-A reserve list is full, correct? Don't believe this changed with the latest Major League Rules that introduced the Domestic Reserve List and eliminated individual level reserve lists during the offseason.

     

  • crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    "Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston reports that Carlos Correa's agent has been contacted by the Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs and Braves.

    It's not clear when the contact took place or what level of interest each club has."

    ...with the yanks and dodgers both with piles of cash and a bit of need, i wouldn't get too stoked...but at least there seems to be some interest in what his market is.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Stroman's salary escalators apply to 2024, so if Stroman reaches 160 IP in either 2022 or 2023 (but not both) it adds $2M to his 2024 salary, and if he reaches 160 IP in both 2022 and 2023 it would add $4M to his to 2024 salary.

    So he gets $25M in both 2022 and 2023 (that's locked-in), and then either $21M, $23M , or $25M in 2024, depending upon whether he reaches his salary escalators in 2022 and/or 2023. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    W-RAT: I should also mention that the Cubs cannot outright David Bote while he is injured or rehabbing from an injury, except during a window starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until the day that off-season reserve lists must be filed (normaly 11/20, but it was 11/19 in 2021 because 11/20 fell on a Saturday, and it will be 11/18 in 2022 because 11/20 will fall on a Sunday). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    W-RAT: The Cubs can outright David Bote (if he is not claimed off waivers) once the transaction freeze is lifted. That's not a problem. 

    If he is outrighted and then elects free-agency, he would forfeit what remains of his contract - AS LONG AS - the contract is not fully guaranteed. 

    If the contract is fully guaranteed he would likely elect free-agency and the Cubs would be on the hook for what remains of his salary, offset by the MLB minimum salary if he were to sign an MLB deal with another club.

     

  • crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    kristin call has been named GM of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.  she's been the assistant/associate GM for a few years and was formally a marketing director for the team.

    she's been involved in baseball for a living for 16+ years.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Hey Phil - Could David Bote be outrighted at any point before the start of the season (obviously not now while players are being locked out). I wonder because if someone claimed him, oh well. If he elected free agency, wouldn't that void his contract? These are the thoughts going through my head as I look to open up another 40-man spot, and Bote will be out until at least May.

    I've read your 40-man tag for him, but I'm not quite smart enough to figure this out! :) Thanks!

     

  • crunch 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
    Marcus Stroman signed a three-year, $71 million contract with the Chicago Cubs that includes an opt out after the second season, sources tell ESPN. He’ll make $25 million in 2022, $25 million in 2023 and $21 million in 2024. It includes $2M escalators for 160 IP in ‘22 and ‘23.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have re-signed RHRP Jonathan Holder and C-INF P.J. Higgins to 2022 minor league contracts, presumably with an NRI to MLB Spring Training. 

    They will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible, if and when there is a Rule 5 Draft. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    Owners' stooge Bobby Manfred coming out swinging at the players with his statement about the owners instituting a lockout.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs re-signed OF Michael Hermosillo to a 2022 Major League contract just prior to the midnight Wednesday MLB transaction freeze. 

    Hermosillo was non-tendered on Tuesday because he was a Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Player, and if he had remained on the 40 the Cubs would not have been able to outright him to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB opening Day. 

     

  • crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    we shouldn't, especially with how much payroll room for 2024+ this top-costing-for-fans team with a heavily monitized ballpark in a major media market has.

    backloaded contracts aren't exactly groundbreaking new things...neither are cheap-ass owners.  i don't expect them to compete every year, but i expect them to try after a punt season where they traded away the core.  NYY, NYM, LAD, LAA, BOS, etc. don't seem to have trouble doing this even if it means throwing a bit of money around...

     

  • Sonicwind75 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Stroman, a pleasant surprise.  Good to know we aren't completely punting until 2025.