Update On Timeline For Calling Up Prospects

Starting this week MLB teams can call all prospects up without putting them on the fast track to free agency. If a prospect’s big league service clock starts after today, he’ll be under team control through at least 2018.

Today represents the 20th day of the minor league season by my count. This means prospects on 40-man rosters such as Trevor Bauer, Bryce Harper and Danny Hultzen will have spent the requisite 20 days on optional assignments following today. Even if their teams call them up tomorrow for the remainder of the MLB season, they will accrue a maximum of 162 days of service — short of the 172 days required for a full year.

For the past few days it's been safe for teams to call up prospects not currently on the 40-man roster. Players such as Brett Jackson and Shelby Miller didn’t have to spend 20 days on an optional assignment, they just had to spend enough time in the minor leagues to ensure that they’ll fall short of 172 days in the Majors in 2012. 

As always, it’s important to note that service time is just one element of a team's decision-making process and that a substantial proportion of top prospects get optioned to the minor leagues early in their careers. The player's readiness and the team's needs generally trump service time considerations. But service time matters a great deal for elite young players.

Teams wishing to prevent their prospects from obtaining super two status following the 2014 season can keep prospects in the minor leagues until late June. This should ensure that the players are only arbitration eligible three times.

Here's a complete look at the timeline for calling up top prospects.

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17 Responses to Update On Timeline For Calling Up Prospects Leave a Reply

  1. Gunner65 3 years ago

    Speaking of call ups,

    Couple of tweets that JJ Cooper got called up last night by the Reds. Been really interested in seeing him pitch

  2. chico65 3 years ago

    An OPS of .675 will delay Harper’s call-up more than anything else.  Maybe he is human, after all.  Not that there’s any shame in that for a 19 year old in AAA.

  3. redsx968 3 years ago

    Could we maybe get a running thread of minor-league call-ups?

  4. Not 100% sure, but I think that the 20 days of optional assignment counts from the Major League schedule, not the minor league schedule. This year, the Major League and minor league seasons started on the same day, so the distinction is irrelevant. But if, say, minor league games had started on April 7th instead of April 4th, today would still mark the 20 day point for optional assignments (and thus, the service time threshold for control of call-ups from the 40-man roster with no prior ML service time). I know this is extremely nitpicky, but I bring it up only to clarify my own understanding.

    That said, it’s awesome that this site devotes posts to this type of information. One of the many things that sets MLBTR apart.

  5. sourbob 3 years ago

    Brett Jackson has cooled off a bit and is still striking out a ton. Even with Byrd traded, I’d bet he stays down maybe until the break or so. Rizzo is absolutely killing it, but LaHair is looking pretty good and the Cubs aren’t going anywhere yet, so no need to rush him either.

    • Cubs27 3 years ago

      If Lahair can stay as consistent, I really hope we unload Soriano at any cost so he can stay in the line up.

      • imachainsaw 3 years ago

        i hope sveum and thed realize that benching him (sori) is always an option

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         They had to pay everything to move Byrd and he has the possibility of maybe helping a team, where Soriano would cost the Cubs 54m and get back less than Bowden back for a prospect.. I just don’t see Epstein being able to move him and Cubs ownership bellying up that much to get back a really non prospect for that cash outlay.

        That said? Would really like to see Rizzo on the roster, he is (like you said) tearing it up and has nothing left to prove at AAA.

        • BlueCatuli 3 years ago

          Nothing left to prove in AAA? Remember what happened last year? Yeah, he may have shortened his swing, but why start his service time and waste it on a crummy team?

      • Matt Talken 3 years ago

        As a Cardinals fan, can’t say I know too much about him, but that at bat against Motte last night was pretty impressive.

      • Ptk123 3 years ago

        Let’s hope we can unload Soto as well! His Ab’s are killing me, I am so sick of seeing 5 hoppers to the SS or 2nd baseman!

  6. East Coast Bias 3 years ago

    Yanks are holding back Pettitte to avoid Super 2 status

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

       That would be 2 decades, but he’s still 4 seasons short :-)

    • chico65 3 years ago

      Super status for Pettite, again?  Not without some HGH

  7. johnsilver 3 years ago

    A few Boston fans will be here before long after they notice how well Middlebrooks has been tearing up the International league…

    Not really a place for him, but eventually the buzzards will be circling the wagons in the NE press..

    Middlebrooks through 18 G at Pawtucket: 8HR 25RBI 1.170OPS .413OBP .757SLG and 5bb vs 10k

    Lavarnway through 15G  2HR 6RBI .840OPS .412OBP .429SLG 12BB vs 10K
    Salty might be playing decent defense, but his offense has been anemic other than 2HR

    • Tko11 3 years ago

      Middlebrooks is on fire and if Youk doesnt start hitting, I would hope they at least attempt to shop Youk around and see what they can get for him. Hes been on a downward trend the past few years and is 33 years old. I think they can get some decent pieces in return for him. 

  8. mgsports 3 years ago

    For Will or Youklis maybe OF or SS.

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