Restrictions on Optioning/Recalling Players to/from the Minors

GENERAL RESTRICTIONS:

1. Beginning with the 2020 season, no more than 14 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 a minor league club whose regular season (including post-season playoffs) has concluded.

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

4. 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 2021 MLB OPENING DAY (last updated 3-12-2020):
TBD   

6. 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.   

7. All players on Optional Assignment to the minors must be recalled no later than the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.

OTHER RESTRICTIONS:

8. 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 12-12-2019):
Trevor Megill, RHP

9. 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.

DRAFT-EXCLUDED PLAYER WITH MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS REMAINING (last updated 3-12-2020):
NONE AT THIS TIME  

10. 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).

If a player eligible to elect free-agency is optioned and elects to be a free-agent immediately, his contract is terminated and he receives no termination pay.

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 (25-man roster), trade the player, or give the player his Outright Release.

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 1-29-2020): 
Yu Darvish, RHP
Daniel Descalso, INF 
Kyle Hendricks, RHP
Jason Heyward, OF
Craig Kimbrel, RHP
Jon Lester, LHP
Jose Quintana, LHP 
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Steven Souza Jr, OF

Recent comments

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  • crunch 6 hours 41 min ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.

     

  • crunch 12 hours 32 min ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...

     

  • JustSayin' 15 hours 15 sec ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca

     

  • crunch 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   

     

  • jdrnym 2 days 14 hours ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.

     

  • crunch 3 days 18 hours ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."

    ---

     

  • bradsbeard 5 days 12 hours ago (view)

    This one has me scratching my head too. Surely they knew Lakins would have a hard time clearing waivers. Hate to just lose Pereda like that. Feels like they gave up more for Lakins than for Sadler, and I'm guessing Sadler might have been slightly more likely to clear waivers since he's out of options. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 13 hours ago (view)

    I think the most puzzling aspect to the Travis Lakins Caper is that the only plausible reason for the Cubs to have struck a pre-emptive trade with the Red Sox instead of waiting and hoping to win a waiver claim is that the Cubs believed that another club with a better waiver claim priority would almost certainly claim him. So to ensure that they would be able to acquire Lakins, the Cubs must have offered the Red Sox something more than the $50,000 waiver price, otherwise there would have been no point in the Red Sox agreeing to the deal. 

     

  • crunch 5 days 16 hours ago (view)

    RedSox acquire catcher Jhonny Pereda from the #Cubs, completing the January 21 trade for RHP Travis Lakins

    ...cubs lost lakins on waivers to BAL, btw

     

  • erich081 6 days 4 hours ago (view)

    I wore my Rick Wilkins #2 shirsey today and kept thinking real baseball was only a week away. And then I remembered this weird alternate reality we've seemed to have slipped into. Hope everyone stays healthy and safe.

     

  • Hagsag 6 days 9 hours ago (view)

    I am installing a padded room to sit in until this hell is over.

     

  • Charlie 6 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Watched it yesterday with my girlfriend and while Skyping my dad. It was fun to give her running commentary since she's only been a Cubs fan for the last five years.

     

  • crunch 1 week 6 hours ago (view)

    MLB is sidestepping this "to the surface" pushing issue by choosing to "finacially support" minor league players according to a press release from a couple days ago.  minor league pay has been a recent source of embarrassment for MLB...

    i have no idea how robust this assistant will be, but anything less than 100% for most players (no matter the source) would be a disservice to future of the game.