Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement contains a provision that allows certain free agents who are signed to minor league contracts to receive a $100K retention bonus if they are not on the team’s 25-man roster or the Major League disabled list five days prior to the season.
Free agents who qualify for this distinction are those who have at least six years of Major League service time and had a Major League contract expire at the end of the previous season, but signed a minor league deal ten or more days prior to Opening Day.
The deadline for teams to decide on these players is today at 11am central time. By the deadline, teams with these players in camp need to decide whether to:
- Add the player to their 25-man roster or Major League disabled list (or agree to do so in writing).
- Grant the player his outright release from the minor league contract so that he may pursue opportunities with other teams.
- Pay the player a $100K retention bonus to keep him in the organization beyond the deadline and send him to the minors.
Here’s the latest news from around the league on Article XX(B) signees and their roster statuses with their respective teams (newest updates on top):
- Matt Thornton has been told that he’ll break camp with the Padres, according to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter). The veteran southpaw signed fairly late in camp after failing to find a big league deal, ultimately reaching a minor league pact that will pay him $1.6MM at the MLB level. He can also take home up to $1.9MM in incentives depending upon how many appearances he makes.
- Outfielder Ryan Raburn will be added to the Rockies’ 40-man roster, Nick Groke of the Denver Post clarifies (Twitter links). He figures to play an important part-time role on the club, which features three left-handed outfielders in its regular lineup.
- The Braves have announced that outfielder Jeff Francoeur has made the Opening Day roster, with the team purchasing his contract. He’ll play a reserve role in his return to Atlanta, where he once featured as one of the most exciting young players in baseball.
- The Padres appear set to pay Brandon Morrow the $100K retention bonus to remain with the organization, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. Morrow, 31, still needs to stretch out after getting a late start this spring.
- The Nationals have officially added righty Matt Belisle to the club’s 40-man roster and will be active on Opening Day, the team announced. He represents a somewhat surprising victor in the pen battle, and his addition seemingly leaves the organization with just one open job to give to minor league free agent lefty Sean Burnett or optionable righties Trevor Gott and Blake Treinen.
- Veteran outfielder Matt Joyce has made the Pirates’ Opening Day roster and will be added to the 40-man, GM Neal Huntington told reporters including Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via Twitter). He had a forgettable 2015, but put up strong numbers in camp.
- Likewise, the Indians announced yesterday that southpaw Tom Gorzelanny will remain in the organization in the minor league system. He’ll be due a $100K bonus for the privilege.
This post originally incorrectly listed Alex Torres as an Article XX(B) free agent.