Rule 12 – Transfer Agreements (Trades)


Rule 12 outlines the rules for Transfer Agreements between clubs, generally in the form of trades or contract purchases between two teams. Generally, teams can trade players for whatever consideration they deem fit, but all such transactions must be approved by the Commissioner. Accordingly, Rule 12 is largely a procedural rule outlining the process for approval.

  • All transactions between clubs must be filed with and approved by the Commissioner in the form of a Transfer Agreement within 15 days of the transaction.
  • Penalties may be imposed if the Transfer Agreement does not fully and accurately state the terms and consideration of the transaction
  • Assignment Agreements shall also be executed whenever title to a player’s contract changes from one club to another. The player, league, and the Commissioner shall be notified of all such transfers.
  • Any payments for transfers will be made at the time that the transfer agreement is signed unless agreed otherwise; payments may not be deferred for more than one year.
  • Every transfer agreement shall express the consideration for the transfer in definite terms. A Transfer Agreement may provide for the trade of an unnamed player, provided that: (a) the assignment must be made within six months of the agreement; (b) the agreement permits a stated cash consideration in lieu of the assignment; and (c) the player cannot be on an active MLB roster from the date of the agreement to the date of the assignment.
  • The death, permanent incapacitation, retirement, enrollment in the armed service, or failure to report of a player prior to reporting to his new club does not void a transfer unless the Transfer Agreement provides otherwise.
  • If a player is transferred to a club whose season has not yet started, and his previous club’s season has already started, he must be paid his agreed upon salary at his previous level until the season of the team to which he is transferred begins.
  • The assigning club is responsible for immediately paying for the player’s transportation to his new city, and the assignee club shall later reimburse those expenses.