Option Years

Teams use options to shuttle players on their 40-man roster to and from the minor leagues risk-free. Here are a few specifics to round out this MLBTR Glossary entry:

  • Once a player is on his team's 40-man roster, his club has three separate seasons over the course of which it can promote and demote the player without exposing him to other teams.
  • Minor leaguers on the 40-man roster are on an optional assignment.
  • They can be promoted and demoted an unlimited number of times within an option year. 
  • Once a player's three option years are up, he must clear waivers before going to the minors.  
  • Options aren't used on players who spend less than 20 days in the minors.  
  • Players with five years of service time can't be optioned to the minors without consent.  

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts.

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