SoSH Glossary: MLB Free Agent

Baseball is filled with statistics, rules, and archaic terms that can often form what sounds like a foreign language. Sons of Sam Horn’s glossary provides a better understanding of these terms through straightforward definitions, clear explanations, and examples pulled straight from the baseball world. If there is anything you would like us to add to our glossary, please contact us.

MLB Free Agent

A major-league player reaches MLB free agency the day following the World Series, if he has at least six years of MLB service time and he is unsigned for the upcoming season. The team that the free agent last played for has an exclusive five-day negotiating window to work out a new contract. After that window expires, the player is free to negotiate with any team he chooses. These players are known as Article XX(B) free agents and they receive two special benefits that other types of free agents do not receive. The other MLB free agents include players who were outright released, non-tendered free agents, and six-year minor-league free agents.

No-Trade Rights

Article XX(B) free agents gain no-trade protection until June 15 of the first season with their new club. The player is allowed to waive this protection, however, the team may receive no more than $50,000 in player contracts or cash considerations in return.

Opt-Out

If an Article XX(B) free agent signs a minor-league deal at least ten days before Opening Day and remains in the organization five days before the season begins, but isn’t added to the 25-man roster or placed on the disabled list, then he receives the right to opt-out of his deal on June 1st. He also receives a $100,000 retention bonus five days after the season begins.

Pete Hodges has written about the call up of a top prospect, an odd tradition, and Leo the Lip.

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