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Difference between being optioned and DFA'd


GtrPlr23
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The end result is basically the same (you get sent to the minors) but being optioned means the player has an option year or more left where he doesn't need to pass through waivers to be sent to the minors. The other caveat to DFA is the fact the player can ask for his outright release at the end of the ten-day period after being DFA'd.

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brewerfan.net has a nice explanation of the option rules at this link.

 

Here's the explanation of the Option Rule from brewerfan.net:

How does "optioning" work?

Generally, after 3 pro seasons, a player must be protected on a club?s 40-man roster or he becomes eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Once a player is added to a club?s 40-man roster, the club then 3 available option years during which they can place him on ?optional assignment? to a minor league club. A player can be sent up and down as many times as the club so chooses within those three seasons. Once a player is ?out of options?, he must clear ?waivers? in order to be sent down again.

 

* If a player is not sent to the minors during a year, an option is not used.

* If a player is on the 40-man roster in spring training but optioned to the minors before the season is underway, an option is used.

* If an assignment in the minors lasts 20 days, an option is not used.

 

Here's the DFA rule from the same site:

What does "Designated for Assignment" (DFA) mean?

Being "Designated for Assignment" has been known as a "temporary purgatory" for baseball players. When a team wants to remove a player from the 25-man roster or the 40-man roster, they can designate that player for assignment. The team then has 10 days to try to trade that player or place him on waivers. The purpose of designated someone for assignment is to open up that person's roster spot.

 

The player movement explanation they have on the site is nice too, explaining the trading periods and waiver rules. That's at this link.

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Optioning is the result of the player staying in the system at the minor league system, it's the same as being sent down or assigned, it's just another way of saying it. Why do they call it that? Because when a player is added to the 40-man roster, which is necessary to be added to the MLB active roster, he has 3 years known as option years he can spend in the minor leagues before having to be exposed to waivers next time he's sent down.

Designating a player for assignment is one way to open up a roster spot, with the ultimate result being either optioning, waiving, releasing or trading a player at the end of the 10-day period.

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