Rule 10 – MLB Waivers


Definitions


A waiver is a permission granted: (i) for the assignment of a player contract Assignment Waivers, or (ii) for the unconditional release of an MLB player (Unconditional Release Waivers).
  • During certain times of year, an MLB player must clear waivers in order to be assigned to the minor leagues (unless that player has options) or to another MLB club. There are three types of Assignment Waivers:
    • Outright Waivers - An attempt to assign an MLB player to a minor league affiliate without the right to recall, removing that player from the 40-man roster.
    • Recall Waivers - An attempt to assign an MLB player without remaining options to a minor league affiliate with the right to recall that player, leaving that player on the 40-man roster.
    • Major League Waivers - Typically used as a revocable waiver in an attempt to trade the player or clear the player for a future trade to another MLB club. If such a player clears waivers, he generally remains on his team's active roster until traded.
    • Note that the Major League Rules do not generally refer to waiver types by these names, but the terms are used here for simplicity.
  • For the purposes of terminology, the player’s current team requests waivers, while the other team may claim the player off waivers.

Procedure for Requests


  • A club desiring waivers on a player shall notify the Commissioner in writing by 2:00 pm ET Monday through Friday. Once entered, requests may not be revoked except in accordance with Rule 10(d).
  • The Commissioner then notifies all other clubs of the request for waivers
  • If another club wishes to make a claim on the player, it must do so by 1:00 pm ET on the second business day following the day waivers were officially requested.
  • In the event that a claim is made before the deadline, the claim is considered secured, and the Commissioner shall notify the requesting club.

Restrictions on Requests


  • A club can not request waivers on more than seven players in one day.
  • No waivers shall be requested from October 10 to November 10 except Outright Waivers.
  • No waivers may be requested on weekends or holidays.
  • If a request is withdrawn, waivers may not be requested on the same player for 30 days, excepting Unconditional Release Waivers.
  • When waivers are requested: (a) for the second time by the same club on a player who has already been claimed once that season; or (b) for Outright Waivers, the waiver request is irrevocable and may not be withdrawn.
  • Waivers cannot be requested on a Rule 5 pick until 25 days before opening day. If waivers are obtained on such a player after that date, the player may not be assigned until 20 days before opening day.
  • Waivers cannot be obtained for players on the inactive lists.
  • Waivers may not be obtained by players on the disabled list unless the team guarantees that the player is healthy and ready to be activated within 72 hours.
  • Waivers may not be re-requested on a player who is already on waivers (for the purpose of re-starting the waiver clock).

Waiver Claims


  • A club desiring to claim a player off waivers shall notify the Commissioner in writing before the claiming deadline. Claims may not be canceled.
  • At the conclusion of the claiming period, the Commissioner shall notify the requesting club of all claims.
  • If the player is claimed, waivers will be automatically withdrawn unless the requesting club notifies the Commissioner in writing that the club does not wish the waiver to be withdrawn. The requesting team has 2 business days from the time of the claim to withdraw the request. A withdrawal voids and nullifies the claim. If the request is not withdrawn, the player shall be assigned to the claiming team.
  • If a claim is entered and the waiver is not withdrawn:
    • If only one claim is entered, the assignment shall be made to the claiming club.
    • If the request is for Major League Waivers or Recall Waivers and more than one club makes a claim, the player shall be assigned to the claiming club with the lowest current winning percentage in the same league. If all claims are from the other league, the player shall be assigned to the claiming club with the lowest current winning percentage in that league. If the claim is made during the off-season, or during the first 30 days of the season, or if two claiming teams have identical records, the previous season’s winning percentage shall determine waiver assignment order.
    • If the request is for Outright Waivers or Unconditional Release Waivers and more than one club makes a claim, the player shall be assigned to the club with the lowest current winning percentage regardless of league. If the claim is made during the off-season or the first 30 days of the season, the winning percentage in the previous season shall determine waiver assignment order. If two teams have identical winning percentages, the assignment shall be made to the team in the same league. If the teams are in the same league, look to previous seasons' winning percentages until the tie is broken.

Assignment Waivers


  • When the proposed assignment is to another MLB club, waivers shall be required from 4:00 pm ET on July 31 until the day after the World Series.
  • When the proposed assignment is to another team's minor league club, waivers are generally not required, unless the player is out of options (note: there is a very complicated formula for this exception, but it generally falls depends whether remaining options). However, if a player is on optional assignment or if he was acquired by trade within the last 24 hours, waivers are not required.
  • For Outright Waivers, waivers are required at all times. Outright Waivers requests from September 1 through the 30th day of the following season must specify the outright nature of the request, and if no claims are made the team may assign that player to the minors.

Effective Periods


  • Waivers granted on or after November 11 shall be in effect until February 15.
  • Waivers granted on or after February 16 shall be in effect until the 30th day of the following season.
  • Waivers granted on or after the 31st day of the season shall be in effect until July 31.
  • Waivers granted on or after August 1 shall be in effect until November 10.

Cancellation of Waivers


Recall Waivers for a major league player assigned to the minors shall remain in effect for the entirety of the season or until the MLB club exercises its right to recall and the player physically reports to the MLB club.

Penalties


Teams shall not collude with other teams to claim, not claim, or withdraw claims for a player. The Commissioner can impose penalties for such conduct.

Player Limits


If a claiming team is assigned a player and that team’s roster limit is full, the team must designate a player for assignment. The claimed player may not be the designated player.

Consideration


Consideration for an assignment shall be set among the assignor and assignee teams, but is to be at least $20,000. In the absence of an agreement, consideration will be $20,000. Consideration for players claimed who were selected in the previous Rule 5 draft shall be 50% of the price paid for the Rule 5 selection.