September Trades

It's officially September, but the trading season isn't necessarily over. Here's what you need to know about dealmaking after August.

Trading in September is a lot like trading in AugustPlayers who have cleared waivers can be traded to any team. However, to be eligible for postseason play a player must be on the active roster, disabled list, bereavement list, or suspended list of that club as of midnight EDT on August 31st, as Keith Law explained in this article. Because of that rule, most deals occur before September. 

Trades do happen in September, since acquisitions can help teams reach the playoffs. For example, the Phillies famously traded for Sparky Lyle in September of 1980. Lyle was a major contributor for the '80 Phillies team, even though he wasn't able to play in the postseason en route to the team's first World Series title.

More recently, players such as Kila Ka'aihue, Octavio Dotel and Willie Bloomquist have been dealt in the final full month of regular season play, as MLBTR's Mike Axisa explained three days ago. PTBNLs are often determined in September, too.

A version of this post was first published in 2009.


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12 Responses to September Trades Leave a Reply

  1. Karkat 3 years ago

    Isn’t there some loophole to get around this? I seem to recall the Red Sox bringing someone who wasn’t on the roster on August 31 into the postseason one year because they were an “injury replacement” for Matt Clement, who hadn’t pitched a single inning that season, and there aren’t the same restrictions for injury replacements?

  2. Nationals should trade For someone to pitch and save their ace for the postseason

  3. jeffbrown 3 years ago

    It was officially September on September 1st.

  4. mgsports 3 years ago

    David Price was not on Rosters as August 31st but was on Postseason Roster.

    • He wasnt traded though. He was still part of the rays organization so the August 31 doesnt matter.

      • Karkat 3 years ago

        This isn’t correct. You have to be on the ACTIVE roster before rosters expand. September call-ups aren’t typically eligible (except in the case of an injury).

        • Not True. Jarrod Parker with the Diamondbacks last year. I believe that you just have to be IN the organization before September 1.

          • Karkat 3 years ago

            Nope. Major League Rule 40(a) (google it, can’t post external links here) clearly states that a player must be on the *25-man roster*, but provides for injury replacements of players on the 60-day DL at the commissioner’s discretion. That is how September call-ups make it onto postseason rosters.

    • Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

      Wasnt he then added to the 40 man roster though?

    • Karkat 3 years ago

      Pretty sure this is what I was talking about above. Price was called up in the middle of September, but he was allowed in the postseason because he was technically replacing an injured player on the roster.

    • Steve Kinsella 3 years ago

      David Price signed a major league contract and was already on the 40 man. On August 31st the Rays called up Jae-Kuk Ryu and put him on the 15-day DL to open a spot on the post-season roster if needed (also had a spot with Chad Orvella on 60-day).

  5. Steve Kinsella 3 years ago

    The A’s should call the Indians for Jack Hannahan. PTBNL and low $, good defensive 3b.

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