How does “optioning” a player to the minor leagues work?


Team 1 begins by going to Team 2 and offers X for Y.

Team 2 counters by saying, I don't think X is as valuable as Y, so I want X and Z for Y. That would be a "two for one."

Team 1 says, I don't want to give you a whole "extra" player, but if you trade me Y for X, which works in my favor, I'll offer you A for B, which works in yours. Now it's "two for two."

So if team 2 agrees that the "package" X+A = the Y+B "package" (and both sides get what they want), the deal gets done.

Is that how a "multiplayer" dialog might go or are there other routes?

(An example was Sean Burnett and Nyger Morgan for Joel Hanrahan and Lastings Milledge between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals some years ago, from my own piece: (I'm not referring to a veterans for prospects trade, that's a separate...

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Minor league deals are something of a last resort for players an a low risk move for teams.

I'm going to talk about 2 players here who were signed for two very different reasons. The first is Dan Uggla who you mention in the question.

Uggla was cut recently by the Braves, and went unclaimed on waivers, that made him a free agent. Since he is already getting paid for the rest of this season by the Braves, any team that wanted to sign him only has to pay him the major league minimum salary (regardless of whether they sign him to a major or minor league deal).

The Giants, who need a second baseman, signed Uggla to a minor league deal (so they don't have to put him on their 40 man roster), with an opt out that he can take on August 1st if he feels like he will not make the big league club. Uggla can now go play for the Giants' AAA afiliate for a week or two and try to find his swing again. If the Giants want to keep him, they can bring him up before 8/1 and his opt...

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The exact path is very different for each player. Many players will skip one or several of the following levels of the minor leagues.

For college pitchers, often the first thing they must do is finish their current collegiate seasons.

Here are the possible levels of professional baseball in most major league organizations:

Extended Spring Training - A short season league with very lax rules where players can work on things and get extra reps before either being assigned to a minor league team, or get some work before taking a break before fall baseball).

Short Season A ball- Often the first stop for prospects, this is usually a short season league that plays part of the summer. Gets kids ready to play professional baseball with a season that is only slightly longer than the typical college season.

Fall ball - Played in Arizona, the fall league is where a lot of guys in the minors go after either a short season and some rest, or after a full...

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The ECHL, CHL, and AHL are all full professional leagues.

The AHL and NHL were at one time both partners, and adversaries. I played in the AHL because I was the property of the Chicago Black Hawks, but many others played because they were professionals. Teams like the Hershey Bears, Rochester Americans, and the Cleveland Barons, all had NHL size payrolls and went after players as free agents.

In the mid to late 60s, with NHL expansion (especially into CHL and AHL markets), the WHL imploded (another professional league pre-1970) and the AHL and CHL stepped in line as full NHL affiliates due to the loss of the bigger markets (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Buffalo).

Currently, there are 30 NHL teams, and 30 AHL teams. Every AHL team has an agreement with an NHL team to supply at least 86% of their roster (each AHL team is free to sign up to 4 non-NHL affiliated players). The IHL and ECHL have similar, less-binding player agreements.

The NHL has it's own collective...

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Most of the time, the teams don't actually "move" around, per se. Minor League teams are usually separate corporations from the major league team, and form affiliations with major league teams, via the Player Development Contract. This affiliation allows the Major League team to have control over the players and coaches of the minor league team, but the other elements of the team (the stadium, ticket sales, administrative details, etc.) are managed by the Minor League franchise.

That said, it's certainly possible for a Minor League team to relocate physically (as well as change affiliation, or not) - usually for the same reasons as Major League teams might relocate: attendance, stadium conditions, etc.; and occasionally also as a result of a player development contract - but often not. has a fairly detailed section on the business of Minor League Baseball and covers all of this in much more detail.

In your specific example, the New York Mets ended their...

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The key passages from the MLB's Rule 5 Draft description are.

"Players who were signed when they were 19 or older and have played in professional baseball for four years are eligible, as are players who were signed at 18 and have played for five years."

"All players on a Major League Baseball team's 40-man roster, regardless of other eligibility factors, are "protected" and ineligible for the Rule 5 Draft."

The idea is to prevent teams from "warehousing" players that have at least 4-5 years of minor league experience (depending on the age they were signed). By that time, a player should be "on his way" to the majors.

Membership on the 40-man roster suggests that the player has a future in the major leagues, even if he is still "technically" in the minors, because he may be called up any time a spot becomes available. By the end of the sixth year in the minors, a player will either have been promoted to the major leagues, or else have been released by the...

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I am by no means an expert, but I just found this on Wikipedia:

"In the United States and Canada, Minor League Baseball teams operate under strict franchise contracts with their major league counterparts. Although the vast majority of such teams are privately owned and are therefore able to switch affiliation, those players under contract with the affiliated Major League Baseball team are under their exclusive control, and would move to the MLB club's new affiliate. Not all players on a minor league team are under contract with the MLB club; however, the parent club has the exclusive right to "purchase" the contract of a non-contract player at its affiliate."

Not sure if that helps, but my guess is that in the context of OOTP, if the player is on a minor league contract, then you "purchase the contract" in order to bring them to the big leagues. They then get a big league contract, and even if you "option" them back to the minors, they now have a major league...

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Yesterday at Redleg Nation I looked at the top five pitchers from both the starter and reliever group when it comes to limiting hard contact. The title may be slightly misleading, as you can allow hard contact and not give up extra-base hits and we are measuring extra-base hits and not exit velocity. Still, it’s the best thing we’ve got access to in the minors.

While there’s some batting average on balls in play luck that may help or hurt a pitcher in these numbers some (a great play could rob an extra-base hit, or a misplay leads to one), all pitchers probably had a few such plays throughout the season to even things out. Below I’ve looked at all of the pitchers who threw at least 50.0 innings in the minor leagues in 2016 for the Reds and separated and sorted them by starters/relievers and Isolated Power Against (SLG-AVG).

Starting Pitchers

I’ve also included the OPS against here, as that has plenty of good information as well. Suppressing extra-base hits is...

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The MLB rookie class of 2016 has a lot to live up to.

Last year's class, after all, was historically loaded. Let's just rattle off a list of names to refresh your memory: Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Noah Syndergaard, Joc Pederson, Matt Duffy, Kyle Schwarber, Maikel Franco, Miguel Sano, Jung Ho Kang. Impact players, all.

In fact, as FanGraphs' Owen Watson detailed in a piece published for Fox Sports, 2015's position-player rookies posted an average wins above replacement of 1.76—the highest tally since 1920. And that's not even taking Syndergaard and his 3.1 WAR into account.

And yet, 2016 is producing its own bumper crop of first-year studs. It's only June, so it's too early to declare anything definitively.

If you like star rookies, however, this is a great time to be a baseball fan.

Here's an overview of what we've seen so far and a glance at some shiny new players waiting eagerly in the...

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Players actually get three option years. That is, three years in which they are on the 40 man roster, but not on the 25 man roster for some or all of the season.

If a player has fewer than five years of professional experience, he can be sent to the minors in a fourth season without being subject to waivers.

Once the player is out option years, if he gets "optioned" to the minors, he must clear irrevocable waivers. When a player is put on irrevocable waivers, any team can claim him. If no team claims him, the player is assigned to the minor leagues. However, if the player has five years or more of major league service, he can refuse the option to the minors and become a free...

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What is the 25-man roster? The 25-man roster is the roster that the major league team is comprised of. Players on the 25-man roster are eligible to play in a major league game. What is the 40-man roster? The 40-man roster is comprised of all of the players on the 25-man roster, anyone who is on the 15-day disabled list, and minor leaguers who usually have played 3 or more professional seasons. Players who are on the 60-day disabled list are not on the 40-man roster. A team may recall players that are on the 40-man roster that are not on the 25-man roster during the season. What is recalling? When a team wishes to add a player to the 25-man roster that is on the 40-man roster, that player is "recalled" from the minor leagues. If the player that is to be called up is not on the 40-man roster, that player needs to have his contract purchased. What is having your "contract purchased"? If a team wishes to add a player to the...
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Article co-written by Patricia Teter and Eric Rodgers, and cross-posted on ArtfulPuck and Tend the Farm.


Every season fans in the Minor Leagues complain about call-ups from their teams and this is our advice to you: enjoy those call-ups and cheer on your players at a higher level. Someday you might just be able to say “I knew that guy when he played for my local ECHL club, and now’s he’s in the NHL!”

Call-ups are a part of life in the Minors — you can’t avoid it and it is best if you just accept how the entire NHL hockey development system works. It is designed to ultimately help the top-tier of professional hockey, the National Hockey League. The NHL calls-up a player from the AHL, the AHL is then short-handed and calls-up a player from the ECHL. This same scenario also happens if a player is injured in the AHL — the team needs an extra player to fill that spot. It is no different from when an ECHL team signs an extra player to fill in a missing...

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To over simplify things a bit players at each level are more experience and skilled than at the lower level. Think of the minor leagues as a career ladder. Rookies signed in the US usually begin life in rookie league ball ( also called low A or A- ) and work their way up through A, High A or A+, Double A and triple A. At least that's the theory. In practice players often jump from AA to the majors without stopping in AAA.

At one time AAA was where major league teams put veterans who could no longer keep a spot on a major league roster so they could be called in the event of injury. Changes to the collective bargaining agreement gave veteran players the right to refuse these assignment and while it still happens it's no longer the norm.

There are also what's known as an instructional leagues whose purpose is self explanatory and of course the Arizona Fall League which is a place where teams send players that they want to get in more work or face better competition....

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FILE - At left, in a March 17, 2015, file photo, Major League Baseball Players Association executive and former Detroit Tigers first baseman Tony Clark talks to the media before a spring training exhibition baseball game in Lakeland, Fla. At right, in a May 19, 2016, file photo, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to reporters during a news conference at Major League Baseball headquarters in New York. Negotiators for baseball players and owners are meeting this week in Irving, Texas, in an attempt to reach agreement on a collective bargaining agreement to replace the five-year contract that expires Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/File)


FILE - At left, in a March 17, 2015, file photo, Major League Baseball Players Association executive and former Detroit Tigers first baseman Tony Clark talks to the media before a spring training exhibition

... more Photo: Associated Press

Here is a joint news...

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The Orioles will attempt to improve their pitching depth before opening day, no matter how long it takes. The rotation and the bullpen. They’re always interested in arms.

In the meantime, manager Buck Showalter likes his much-maligned rotation and expects other teams to exhibit interest in his starters. And he doesn’t care if the folks doing the projections disagree with him.

“Very quietly, I think our pitching actually is in a lot better shape than people think, especially our bullpen,” Showalter said this week on the “Hot Stove Show” on 105.7 The Fan. “We’ve got six starters for five spots, so there will be some people knocking on our door about our surplus of starting pitching. That’s right, I said it.

“I kind of like laying in the weeds with our rotation.”

A rotation with four of its members - Chris Tillman, Ubaldo Jimenez, Yovani Gallardo and Wade Miley - entering the final guaranteed year of their contracts. Showalter wonders if there’s a...

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According to minor leagues expert Bob Hoie, the first recognized minor league was the Northwestern League, which was organized in 1882. League officials sought cooperation and protection of player contracts from the National League -- a necessary step because independent clubs often lost their best players during the season to the National League and, later, to the American Association clubs.

In 1883, the Northwestern League, the National League and the American Association signed an agreement that bound the clubs to honor the contracts of players on reserve lists, to recognize each other's suspensions and expulsions, to establish territorial rights and to form an arbitration committee to settle disputes. The agreement also set minimum salaries -- at a higher level in the National League and the American Association and lower in the Northwestern League -- and basically assigned "major" or "minor" status to teams, Hoie said.

In 1885, a new National Agreement was...

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Diamondbacks like that Yoan Lopez takes the good with the bad.

The young Cuban pitcher did that again in his final spring training game Monday, taking the mound just before the team announced its locks for the pitching rotation. With Trevor Cahill and Chase Anderson in, Lopez was officially out.

It wasn't a surprise. And it probably wouldn't surprise D-backs manager Chip Hale that the 22-year-old said he wasn't disappointed when he learned he was being sent to the minors, right after the D-backs' 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"I know I need to work a little bit more to get better, to get back," Lopez said through coach and interpreter Ariel Prieto.

Lopez's fastball velocity sat in the low-to-mid 90s this spring, but combining that with his solid secondary pitches is a learning curve that can best be addressed in the minors.

"The breaking ball is good, but I'm still working how to mix it up in the right way to get a...

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Vance Albitz, AAA Infielder, St. Louis Cardinals.

Take away the high salaries of the major league ballplayers and the sold-out crowds that watch them play, and it’s no wonder why many people say that the true passion for baseball lives in the Minor Leagues. Now, go talk to any minor leaguer and he’ll be quick to tell you these two things: 1) he will do just about anything to get out of the minors and into the majors, and 2) there are more levels in the minor leagues to climb than you probably realized (most teams have six minor league affiliates: Rookie Ball, Short Season-A, Low-A, High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A). Of course, except for the very few, the only way to get to the majors is to start from the bottom and work your way up.

This season will be my fifth year in professional baseball, and I’ve experienced five different minor league levels. I’ve played with thousands of different players, and though each...

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The Cardinals have placed shortstop Aledmys Diaz on the 15-day disabled list with a hairline fracture in his left thumb that was suffered on Sunday when he was hit by a pitch, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. “And it will likely be longer [than 15 days],” general manager John Mozeliak made when announcing the move.

As Goold writes, initial X-rays revealed only a deep bone bruise, but the fracture was revealed upon further testing after the swelling in his hand had reduced. While the Cardinals had the diagnosis prior to Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline, Mozeliak explained to Goold that the didn’t feel pressured to dive into the trade market in search of infield depth due to the fact that Jhonny Peralta will return from the DL tonight and Matt Carpenter will return by Friday. “You’re not going to go out and find that kind of impact player and the fact that we get Jhonny Peralta activated (Tuesday) I think he can slide in right there,” said Mozeliak....

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news report of the first WSC match.

World Series Cricket (WSC) was a break away professional cricket competition staged between 1977 and 1979 and organised by Kerry Packer for his Australian television network, Nine Network. The matches ran in opposition to established international cricket. World Series Cricket drastically changed the nature of cricket, and its influence continues to be felt today.

Two main factors caused the formation of WSC—the widespread view that players were not paid sufficient amounts to make a living from cricket, and that Packer wished to secure the exclusive broadcasting rights to Australian cricket, then held by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC).

After the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) refused to accept Channel Nine's bid to gain exclusive television rights to Australia's Test matches in 1976, Packer set up his own series by secretly signing agreements with leading Australian, English, Pakistani, South African and...

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