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 3-17-2021):
NONE AT THIS TIME 

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

RULE 6 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 6 "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 3-12-2021):
NONE AT THIS TIME   

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 4-26-2021): 
Jake Arrieta, RHP
Javier Baez, INF 
Kris Bryant, INF
Andrew Chafin, LHP 
Zach Davies, RHP 
Matt Duffy, INF
Kyle Hendricks, RHP
Jason Heyward, OF
Craig Kimbrel, RHP
Jake Marisnick, OF 
Shelby Miller, RHP 
Joc Pederson, OF 
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Eric Sogard, INF
Ryan Tepera, RHP 
Dan Winkler, RHP 
Tony Wolters, C 

Recent comments

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  • Wrigley Rat 1 min 34 sec ago (view)

    Some injuries that have been announced one way or another include Ben Hecht's TJS on 5/11 and Yovanny Cruz' "arm surgery" due to "forearm discomfort" in early May. Jack Patterson announced that he would miss all of 2021, but be back next year. Jonathan Holder was cleared to begin a throwing program last week, but was not ready for mound work at that time. On June 16th, a Rowan Wick update was "every time he ramped back up, he kept feeling something. he's throwing off a mound again, but it's gonna be a while."

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 min 53 sec ago (view)

    From talking to people in the know out here, the missing level (short-season advanced -- what had been Eugene for the Cubs in the recent past) has messed up things, especially for position players.

    It's like there is a gap in the player development pipeline, with players (especially position players) who are clearly too advanced for the AZL (now ACL) but also not quite ready for full-season Lo-A in a kind of development limbo, either in over their heads at full-season Lo-A, or else dominating younger and/or inferior competition in the short-season complex leagues  

     

  • crunch 43 min 5 sec ago (view)

    baseball as we know it is under heavy management shifts in every aspect of the minors and even the indie leagues with a common string being pulled by upper MLB leaders.

    it's kinda concerning to some people.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 2 min ago (view)

    K-DUB: For the first time ever the AZL (now the ACL) is being operated / supervised from outside Arizona, and so there has been some confusion on the ground. A lot of last-minute planning. Lots of TBA / TBD, both within the individual organizations and within the league itself. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 8 min ago (view)

    K-DUB: It's just a procedural move to open up slots on the 180-man Domestic Reserve List.

    Any player who was placed on the 60-day IL on Minor League Opening Day (5/3) or placed on the 7-day IL on Minor League Opening Day (5/3) and then subsequently was transferred to the 60-day IL is eligible to be reinstated a week from tomorrow (7/2).

    As for the type of injuries sustained by the guys who are on the 60-day IL, I would rather not say. I will leave it to the individual player and/or to the Cubs to divulge specific injury information as it relates to a particulart player.

     

  • K Dub 5 hours 21 min ago (view)

    Can't wait for ACL games to get started on the 28th! (Really wish they'd change the name of the league, though. Bad injury vibes...)

     

  • K Dub 5 hours 23 min ago (view)

    PHIL: Are you able to provide any clarifying info on the nature of Kohl Franklin's injury/rehab? I saw you moved him from the 7-day to the 60-day IL. Was that just a procedural move because enough time has passed or is that a sign that he's out for the season? Also, of the guys on the 60-day IL, can you clarify who is definitely out for the season/having surgery and those who might return?

    Thanks!

     

  • Eric S 10 hours 58 min ago (view)

    Great stuff, Charlie - Thanks!

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of 25-year old 6'5 260 RHP Adam Heidenfelder from Gary (American Association) and he has been assigned to the ACL Cubs.  

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Does anyone know what type of injury Amaya has?

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    I can not believe what a good 3b he has been playing.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Robert Stock was claimed off waivers by the Mets.

     

  • crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    HR in the 8th.  dope.

     

  • crunch 2 days 30 min ago (view)

    he's back out in the field in the top 3rd...must be okay, but he sure doesn't look confidently healthy.  *shrug*  off-day tomorrow...

     

  • crunch 2 days 40 min ago (view)

    p.wisdom seems to have injured his right leg/knee swinging a bat...

     

  • crunch 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    “It did not feel good to take Javy out of the game,” Ross said. “I never feel comfortable doing that at all. That's a pit in my stomach and it was in my stomach the entire game.”

    ...

    “I blame it on myself. I lost the count of the outs,” Báez said. “We talked about it. We're on the same page. I'll be there tomorrow to help the team.”