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.

DRAFT-EXCLUDED PLAYER WITH MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS REMAINING (last updated 3-18-2022):
NONE 

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 5-3-2022): 
Willson Contreras, C 
Mychal Givens, RHP 
Robert Gsellman, RHP 
Yan Gomes, C 
Kyle Hendricks, RHP
Jason Heyward, OF
Wade Miley, LHP
Daniel Norris, LHP 
David Robertson, RHP 
Andrelton Simmons, INF 
Drew Smyly, LHP
Marcus Stroman, RHP 
Seiya Suzuki, OF (International player with Article XIX-A rights)

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  • Childersb3 5 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Phil,

    I apologize for not being knowledgable enough to find this answer on my own, but when is the earliest date that Alec Mills can come off the 60 day IL? I know he can have a long rehab as well, so my second question is what is his latest date he could come off the 60IL? So, what's his return date range? I trying to figure out if it's even 40man roster possible/plausible for Kilian to get added to 40 to pitch next Monday vs Brewers.

    Any help here would be greatly appreciated!

     

  • Cubster 6 hours 5 min ago (view)

    KB is back on the IL with exacerbation of the same low back injury. Sigh. 

     

  • DavidP 17 hours 8 min ago (view)

    Phil - it is obvious that Christian Hernandez is tearing things up, and altuve and Balistros look promising, but has there been any others that have surprised you among the pitchers or the rest of the offense down there?

     

  • crunch 19 hours 31 min ago (view)

    this reds team is so hopelessly terrible they have mahle out there in the 5th with 100+ pitches, 6 runs given up, and no outs yet.

    ...and he's done with 103 pitches, leaving with 0 outs and men on 1st/2nd

     

  • crunch 19 hours 40 min ago (view)

    nice.

    i was looking forward to the hoerner/madrigal "hoes mad" middle IF.

     

  • Cubster 20 hours 9 min ago (view)

    Schwizdom?

     

  • crunch 20 hours 49 min ago (view)

    "nice first inning." - cubster

    "yeah, okay, whatever.  hold my beer." - stroman

     

  • Cubster 21 hours 4 min ago (view)

    Nice first inning. Gomes out with oblique strain, Schwindel is today's backup catcher.

     

  • crunch 21 hours 15 min ago (view)

    small sample size blah blah etc...

    watching morel is like flashing back to 2016-era cubs and their joy + aggression on the field.  he would have fit in well with that cubs era.

     

  • crunch 21 hours 19 min ago (view)

    pre-game lineup shakeup...yan gomes scratched (left oblique tightness) and lineup rearranged.

    morel leading off, ortega moves to hitting 2nd, and schwindel 5th

     

  • crunch 23 hours 38 min ago (view)

    may 24th...

    our leadoff hitter has a .315 ob% and the #2 hitter is sporting a solid .262 ob%

    121 games to go.

    season ends with 6 in a row vs CIN.  i dunno if anything in the dumpster will be left to keep a flame going.  sad thing is by that point it may actually be better quality baseball.

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    Phil, does Rafael Morel have some potential to join his big brother?

     

  • tim815 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    You answered your own question. Trades create promotions. Other things might not.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Like the ACL, the Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day will be June 6th, and also like the ACL, the DSL regular season concludes on August 23. All DSL games will be played in the morning. The Cubs will once again be running two teams (Red and Blue), with a maximum of 35 players on each squad. DSL games will be played Monday through Saturday with Sundays off, and a few Wednesdays will be off days as well. 60 games total in DSL (ACL teams play 55, because they have all Wednesdays off). 

     

  • K Dub 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil is not only an intrepid reporter who will allow nothing to stop his coverage of Cubs complex baseball, but he's also a reknown wordsmith. In his lastest article, Phil employed 10 different ways to describe the impact of bat to ball while repeating nary a one. 

    In order: blasted, drilled, blooped, belted, hammered, crushed, roped, laced, slugged and ripped. 

    Good work outta you, young man. Your English teachers would be proud.

     

  • JoePepitone 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Only five more wins to tie, six to blow past Kenny.