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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Several Players Awaiting Clarity On Minor League Option Status

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explores the situation at greater length, reporting that Cardinals outfielder Justin Williams isn’t even sure whether he has a minor league option remaining. Neither, according to Goold, are the Cardinals themselves. Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register writes that the Angels are in a similar spot with right-hander Jaime Barria. Goold lists the Cubs’ Adbert Alzolay as another player currently in this state of limbo.

The reason? The commissioner’s office, the MLB Players Association and Major League teams still need to determine whether last year’s shortened slate of games counts as a full season under the league’s option structure. An arbiter is expected to make a final decision sometime this month, per Fletcher. Goold writes that a decision is expected “any time now,” adding that the Cardinals have been awaiting clarity for weeks.

By rule, players are given three option years after being selected to a team’s 40-man roster. Being optioned to the minor leagues, even if it’s out of Spring Training, counts as an option year — so long as the player spends 20 days down on the farm. Players are granted three option years, but there’s no limit to the number of times they can be optioned back and forth throughout the course of one of those individual option seasons.

It is possible for some players to be granted a fourth option year. This is most typical among players who have missed considerable time due to injury. Players who are on the 40-man roster and have exhausted those three minor league options before accruing five full seasons of play can be granted this exemption. A “full” season by that definition entails 90 or more days on an active Major League or Minor League roster (but not the injured list).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 03, 2021 at 09:25 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: options

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   1. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: March 03, 2021 at 10:52 AM (#6007388)
The players aren't really granted options - the teams are granted options.
   2. Karl from NY Posted: March 03, 2021 at 02:32 PM (#6007460)
That's a good point. From the player's POV, option years are bad; the lack of it forces the club to get him into the big league or make him available to someone who will.

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