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).
- Pay the player a $100K retention bonus to keep him in the organization beyond the deadline and send him to the minors.
- Grant the player his outright release from the minor league contract so that he may pursue opportunities with other teams.
We’ll use this post to keep track of the Article XX(B) free agents whose respective teams have elected option one or two; in other words, players who won’t be released for the time being. The most recent updates are on top.
- Miguel Montero has been informed that he’ll make the Nationals as the club’s backup catcher, according to Jamal Collier of MLB.com. He’ll earn a $1.3MM base salary, as outlined in the details of the pact he signed with the club on February 1st. Montero beat out young backstop Pedro Severino in a camp battle for the role.
- Right-handed reliever Fernando Salas will make the Diamondbacks’ opening day roster, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic reports. He’ll join a relief crew that seems somewhat thin behind Archie Bradley, Brad Boxberger and Yoshihisa Hirano. The 32-year-old pitched to a 5.22 ERA across 58 2/3 relief innings last season between the Mets and the Angels. In a related move, the team has designated Rule 5 pick Albert Suarez.
- Indians manager Terry Francona announced today that reliever Matt Belisle will be the seventh member of the club’s opening day bullpen (hat tip to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com). Belisle had been competing with Carlos Torres for the final relief job; he pitched to a 4.03 ERA while saving 9 games for the Twins last season.
- Danny Valencia has been added to the Orioles’ roster, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun tweets. Valencia stated a while back that he had no plans to go to the minors if he didn’t make the big league club, so adding the corner infield to their roster was Baltimore’s only path to retaining him. He’ll prove a right-handed-hitting complement to first baseman Chris Davis.
- The Reds have informed middle infielder Cliff Pennington that he’ll make the major league club, John Fayman of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports via Twitter. He’ll serve as a bench player for a rebuilding Cincinnati club while top prospect Nick Senzel gets more seasoning at the Triple-A level. Pennington hit .253/.306/.330 for the Angels last year.
This seems like a dumb thing for the MLBPA to fight for. A few vets get a nice paycheck, but the minor leaguers get nothing.
More than likely the player is accustomed to a new lifestyle that would not otherwise be affordable for him and his family on a minor league salary. I think the minimum major league salary is around $400k, so after 6 years, the veteran probably has made a minimum of $6 million… it’s the least the union can do after the veteran paid all those union dues anyway.
Well since minor leaguers are not members of the MAJOR League Baseball Players Association, it’s not the MLBPA’s job to protect their interest.
Most minor leaguers are not members of the MLBPA. However many who are at the upper levels, particularly AAA are, provided they are on an MLB clubs 40-man roster. That would be 15 or so per club, sometimes more if an organization utilizes the 60-day disabled list during the season which could open up additional spots on the reserve roster.
Players who sign minor league deals after having appeared are also eligible to still be represented if I remember correctly.
“I think the minimum major league salary is around $400k . . .”
MLB minimum salary is $545K in 2018.
Minimum MLB salary is $550 thousand .
Per the new CBA: The Major League minimum salary will increase from $507,500 in 2016 to: $535,000 in 2017; $545,000 in 2018; $555,000 in 2019; and be subject to a cost-of-living adjustment in 2020 and 2021.
The Minor League minimum salary for those covered under the MLBPA will increase from $82,700 in 2016 to: $86,500 in 2017; $88,000 in 2018; $89,500 in 2019; and be subject to a cost-of-living adjustment in 2020 and 2021.
The least they can do?? Ok.. if I get a nice sales job making 100k a year.. and after 5 years get let go just because.. not at my own wrong doing, and can’t find a comparable job.. where’s my bailout? Quit acting like these guys are poor or struggling. RE-ADJUST your lifestyle if all of a sudden you can’t make a similar paycheck.
Yea, I agree. Sort your life out, clean your room, etc.
Big difference is you are not part of a UNION. I’m not disagreeing that the players get spoiled but if you were paying union dues you likely wouldn’t lose your job without a nice severance package.
The least the union can do for these players that have paid union dues in the past. Yes. I stand by that statement. It’s the least the union can do for these veterans that will make far less than they are accustomed to… don’t compare this situation to what you do, unless you are in a union of course.
Clifford blows but hopefully that at least means Dixon and or Blandino is getting regular ABs in AAA
Nobody in the Reds org probably cares about Dixon getting regular ABs in AAA because I don’t think he’s part of the long term plan
To say Clifford the big Reds dog?
Gotta love the “right handed compliment to Chris Davis” adage when the orioles have Trumbo and Mancini to do that already. What a mess.
Can they play first though? I feel like Trumbo‘ singly position is DH and Mancini is slotted an everyday outfielder.
Trumbo has extensive history at first, and Mancini played first all through the minors, only moving to OF because of Davis.
I expect Valencia to play very little first. I think he’ll Play 3b and DH mostly until Trumbo is back. Allowing Beckham to cover at 2b and Ss on the rare occasion Schoop and machado take a day.
This provision is one of the reasons why the Cubs will reportedly release veteran NRI outfielder Peter Bourjos from his minor league contract although I have yet to see anything official on the Cubs website as I post this at 12:50pm on Saturday.
I told someone this morning that Chewy was gonna add Belisle. He’s a Francona kind of guy.
Does anyone know what the date is for free agent players like Holland that are tied to a compensation pick for signing them, to be able to sign with a new club with having to give up a compensation pick?
June 1st? Pretty sure.
I believe it’s the first day of the annual amateur draft which will be June 4th this year. The qualifying offer for those tagged free agents who haven’t yet signed becomes void since their compensation is tied to the draft.
As for trading any free agent players who were signed the previous offseason, I believe the soonest they can be dealt without their consent is June 15th.
Thank guys for answering. I was wondering if opening day someone could snag him. Looks like he might have to sign for a lot less than his market value.
Valencia only made the team because Trumbo will open the year on the DL. He’s not going to stick around for the whole season. He is another RH hitter on a team full of them, he has very limited positional flexibility, and is basically redundant.