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BASEBALL 101


ORDfishfan
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Would someone out there help me understand "optiojns"? I read today that Willingham is "out of options".

 

What does that mean in layman's terms?

 

Are options negotiable @ contract time?

 

Who owns the option, the player or the club/

 

What happens when you run out of options?

 

 

Hopefully this forum will allow others to ask questions concerning teh "business" side that is on their minds!!

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In the minor leagues, the rosters are managed in quite a different manner than the standard 25-man rosters in the majors. Minor league teams keep two separate lists of players. The first is the Active List which, like in the NFL, denotes which players are eligible for the current game while the second list, the Reserve List, is the entire roster of the team.

 

AAA and AA clubs are allowed to put 24 players on the Active List for the first 30 days of the season, 23 players on the Active List from the 31st day until August 10th and then 24 players again for the rest of the season, including the playoffs. The Reserve List limit, however, is always 38 players for AAA and 37 players for AA teams.

 

For A teams, the Active List limit is 25 players, for Short-Season A teams, 30 and for Rookie Teams, 35. All levels below AA allow clubs a Reserve Limit of 35 players. Below A-ball, only 25 players may actually get into a single game.

 

Players may be loaned to other minor league organizations, but must be returned by September 30.

 

As in the majors, there are two disabled lists. The normal disabled list only has a 7-day minimum as opposed to the 15 days used as the limit for the majors. The 60-day DL, or Emergency Disabled List, works the same as in the majors; the player doesn't count against any roster limits but cannot be reinstated until either 60 days have passed or the season ends.

 

Now that the player is on the 40-man roster, another clock starts ticking. He's signed to what amounts to a major-league contract, but the organization has a limited number of seasons in which to keep the player on the team for good. A player can be removed from the 40-man roster at any time, but removing a player from the 40-man roster results in the player having to pass through waivers.

 

Once a player is added to the 40-man roster, the parent club can send him down to the minors on "optional assignment" in 3 separate seasons. You don't need to actually be on the 25-man roster for an option year to be used; being on the 40-man roster in spring training and optioned to the minors before the season is enough to make the season count as an option year. If a player is never sent down, however, he doesn't use an option year.

 

Also, despite it being a major league contract, the minimum for players on the 40-man roster and not the 25-man roster is $37,000 plus collective cost of living increases since 1999.

 

After the three option years are up, a player must pass through waivers to be placed on optional assignment.

 

When a player is designated for assignment, the player is essentially in limbo. He doesn't count against any of the roster sizes and this is used while you either try to trade the player or get him to accept a minor league assignment.

 

When a player is placed on waivers, other teams have a shot at claiming him, in order of worst record in the same league to best record in same league to worst record in opposing league to best team in opposing league. For the first month of the season, the W-L record of the previous season is used. When a team places a waiver claim on a player, the new team is subject to the same option rules. For example, if the Red Sox claim Joe Schmoe off waivers because he was out of options when the Devil Rays sent him down, the Red Sox would then have still to pass Schmo through waivers to send him down to their own minor league team.

 

There are two disabled lists in the majors. The 15-day disabled list forces teams to keep players out for a minimum of 15 days and does not count against the 25-man roster. The 60-day or Emergency disabled list requires a minimum of 60 days on the shelf and doesn't count against either the 25-man or 40-man roster.

 

hope that clears it up

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When a player is added to the active roster, he then has three option years.

 

If he is sent back to the minors, that year counts as 'one' option year. Then he has two left.

 

If he is recalled the next season to the majors, and subsequently sent back down, that counts as the second option year...

 

etc, etc.

 

A player can be called up or sent down as many times as the team wants during an option year. But once he is called up in the fourth separate season (after his third demotion), he CANNOT be sent back down. He is out of options.

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Correction: when a player is added to the 40-man roster, he then has three full option years (If added mid-season, that first half season does not count) to stick in the majors or have his team be forced to offer him to the waiver process for the purposes of sending him to the minors.

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