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Thread: Question about players out of options who are designated for assignment

  1. #1
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    Default Question about players out of options who are designated for assignment

    Ray Murphy suggested I posted this question to the forums. (I hope I chose the right one).

    My question is about players out of options who are designated for assignment.

    I’m reasonably confident that I understand most of the basic rules regarding options, and, as I understand it, if a team wants to send an out of options player to the minors, they must first designate said player for assignment and risk losing him on waivers first.

    Scenario A: this player (let’s call him Matt Koch) successfully passes through waivers and is sent to the minors. One thing I’m not sure of is, if the team promotes him later that year, does he again have to be designated for assignment and be exposed to waivers if the team demotes him to the minors a second time that same season? (he’s already passed through waivers once)
    Scenario B: the same player in Scenario A successfully passes through waivers in 2019. In 2020, his team again wishes to demote him. Since I’m pretty sure the player is still out of options, does that player again have to be designated for assignment and be exposed to waivers? (If the answer to this is “yes”, am I correct in assuming this happens every time he is demoted to the minors for the rest of his career? If the answer to this is “no”, how long does the “exemption” last? Every season?)
    Scenario C: an out of options player is claimed by another team (let’s call him Sam Freeman). Later that same season, his new team wishes to demote him. Does his new team again have to designate him for assignment and expose him to waivers? (Based on something I read on Rotoworld re Freeman, and based on what happened to Chris Stratton, I believe the answer is “yes.”)
    Scenario D: the same player in Scenario C successfully passes through waivers in 2019. In 2020, his new team again wishes to demote him. Does *this* player again have to be designated for assignment and be exposed to waivers? (If the answer to this is “yes”, am I correct in assuming this happens every time he is demoted to the minors for the rest of his career? If the answer to this is “no”, how long does the “exemption” last? Every season?)
    Scenario E: an out of options player is claimed by another team, only to have his new team designate him for assignment, and he is claimed by a third team (let’s call him Chris Stratton). If this third team wishes to demote him, does the third team have to designate him for assignment and expose him to waivers? (I’m guessing the answer is “yes”)
    Scenario F: the same player in Scenario E successfully passes through waivers in 2019. In 2020, his new team again wishes to demote him. Does *this* player again have to be designated for assignment and be exposed to waivers? (If the answer to this is “yes”, am I correct in assuming this happens every time he is demoted to the minors for the rest of his career? If the answer to this is “no”, how long does the “exemption” last? Every season?)
    Scenario G: If an out of options player is signed to a minor league contract and is subsequently promoted to the majors, does this player have to be designated for assignment and be exposed to waivers? (I’m guessing the answer is “yes”)

    I hope all this makes sense, but if it doesn’t. please ask and I’ll try to clarify.

    Thanks, in advance, for any assistance you can provide.

  2. #2
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    welcome!

    and yes, all of that is what my impression of the rules are. but, I could be wrong.
    NL 12-team 5x5 auction keeper. no bench, limited 'free' moves #oldschool
    would have placed third if Mad Max - instead got sixth with Sad Max
    our owners have combined 280 years of experience in this 36-year-old league

  3. #3
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    "Ray Murphy suggested I posted this question to the forums. (I hope I chose the right one)."

    I meant to write "Ray Murphy suggested I POST this question to the forums"

    And, to clarify, I'm wondering if the player in question has to be designated for assignment in scenarios A through G.

    Thanks for the welcome.

  4. #4
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    I also believe that the player must again pass through irrevocable waivers before being sent to the minors. Once a player is out of options, he remains out of options; a new year or having passed through waivers once doesn't reset the number of option years that a player has remaining.
    “Because we do not know how to talk to strangers, what do we do when things go awry with strangers? We blame the stranger." -- Malcolm Gladwell

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your response.

    "Once a player is out of options, he remains out of options; a new year or having passed through waivers once doesn't reset the number of option years that a player has remaining."

    I realize that, but what I am not clear on is if passing through waivers once during a season creates any "exemption" from having to pass through waivers AGAIN for a certain period of time.

    For example, earlier this year, the Tigers put Drew VerHagen on irrevocable waivers with the idea of converting him to a starter. He wasn't claimed and was sent down.
    My questions:

    "1) If the Tigers promote VerHagen later this year, does he have to pass through irrevocable waivers if they demote him again, given that he already passed through waivers earlier that year?"

    "2) If they demote him in subsequent seasons, does the fact that he passed through waivers in a previous season create any exemption from having to pass through irrevocable waivers again?"

  6. #6
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    if there's an exemption for that, some lawyer/negotiator at MLB Players Association should be fired.
    NL 12-team 5x5 auction keeper. no bench, limited 'free' moves #oldschool
    would have placed third if Mad Max - instead got sixth with Sad Max
    our owners have combined 280 years of experience in this 36-year-old league

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by medeaschild View Post
    My questions:

    "1) If the Tigers promote VerHagen later this year, does he have to pass through irrevocable waivers if they demote him again, given that he already passed through waivers earlier that year?"

    "2) If they demote him in subsequent seasons, does the fact that he passed through waivers in a previous season create any exemption from having to pass through irrevocable waivers again?"
    1) Yes, Verhagen must pass through waivers again.

    2) There is no such exemption. Verhagen must pass through waivers again.

    The source document is https://registration.mlbpa.org/pdf/MajorLeagueRules.pdf for details like this that are not covered in http://www.mlbplayers.com/pdf9/5450407.pdf (no easy reading, I'll warn you)

    A player has three, or in some cases four, option years during which his MLB club may optionally assign a player on the 40-man roster to the minors. Rule 11(c). Once those option years are gone, he must go through the waiver system described in Rule 10.
    “Because we do not know how to talk to strangers, what do we do when things go awry with strangers? We blame the stranger." -- Malcolm Gladwell

  8. #8
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    I think the main cause of confusion is that for reasons that escape me, all anyone in baseball talk about is a player "being out of options." yet many teams will yo-yo a guy up and down 6-8-10 times in a season, leaving fans wondering how many options a player has.

    solution: say that a player is "out of option YEARS."
    NL 12-team 5x5 auction keeper. no bench, limited 'free' moves #oldschool
    would have placed third if Mad Max - instead got sixth with Sad Max
    our owners have combined 280 years of experience in this 36-year-old league

  9. #9
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    Just wanted to thank the people who replied to this.

    I vaguely recall some sort of waivers where there was some sort of exemption, but I don't remember any of the details. It's moot anyway, since it doesn't apply here.

    And yes, saying a player is out of option years would be more descriptive. I know how option years work NOW, but hen I was first trying to understand the concept, it wt was confusing.

  10. #10
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    believe me, it confused ALL of us!
    NL 12-team 5x5 auction keeper. no bench, limited 'free' moves #oldschool
    would have placed third if Mad Max - instead got sixth with Sad Max
    our owners have combined 280 years of experience in this 36-year-old league

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