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Transaction Terminology

OPTIONS: When a player is on the 40-man roster and in the minor leagues, he is on "optional assignment." Players have three option years and can be sent up and down as many times as the club chooses within those seasons but will only be charged with one option per season. When a player is "out of options", he will have to clear irrevocable waivers in order to be removed from the 40-man roster and sent to the minor leagues.

WAIVERS: If a player placed on major league waivers is not claimed by another team within two business days after waivers have been requested, then the player has "cleared waivers" and the team has secured waivers for the remainder of the waiver period. The team can do one of three things:

  • Send him to the minors; or
  • Trade him to another team, even if the trading deadline has passed; or
  • Do nothing at all.

Note: Any trades involving a 40-man roster player (July 31 through the end of the regular season) may only involve players who have cleared major league waivers. If a player does not clear waivers (claimed by another team or teams), the club requesting waivers may withdraw the waiver request. If the club does not withdraw the waiver request, the player's contract is assigned as follows:

  • If only one claim is entered, the player's contract is assigned to that claiming club.
  • If more than one club in the same league makes claims, the club currently lower in the standings gets the player.
  • If clubs in both leagues claim the player, preference shall always go to the club in the same league as the club requesting waivers.

DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT: This transaction allows a club to open a roster spot for up to a 10-day period while waiting for a player to clear waivers, after which he must be released, traded, or assigned the minor leagues.

RECALLED VS. CONTRACT PURCHASED: If a player is on the 40-man roster, he is "recalled." If not, then his "contract is purchased" from the minor league team. A player must be added to the 40-man roster when his contract is purchased.

RULE 5 DRAFT: A player not on the 40-man roster is eligible if:

  • The player was 18 or younger when he first signed a pro contract and this is the fourth Rule 5 draft since he signed; or
  • He was 19 or older when he first signed a pro contract and this is the third Rule 5 draft since he signed.

MAJOR LEAGUE REHABILITATION: A major league player may be assigned to a minor league affiliate for the purpose of injury rehabilitation for a maximum of 20 days for non-pitchers and 30 days for pitchers.The player continues to receive his major league salary. Any service with the minor league club shall be deemed major league service. Rehabilitation assignments do not count as optional assignments.

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE ROSTER LIMITS: Class AAA rosters are limited to 25 active players throughout the entire playing season. Major league rehabilitation players do not count against the 25-man active limit.

MINOR LEAGUE DISABLED LIST: Players placed on the disabled list must remain on the list for a minimum of seven consecutive days. Players on the disabled list do not count toward a team's roster limit.