View Full Version : Jerry Blevins Teaches Us a Lesson in Optional Waivers

07-23-2011, 06:41 AM
Very interesting article if you're interested in baseball transactions. The whole thing started when Blevins was DFAed but remaining on the 40-man roster. Apparently you can't make waiver claims on weekends, so it was the most efficient way to get him off the 25-man roster.

“Optional major-league waivers are required when optioning a player who is more than three calendar years removed from his first appearance on a major-league roster. This procedure allows a club to send a player to the minor leagues while keeping him on the 40-man roster. Because optional waivers are revocable, players usually clear in this scenario. In the unlikely event a player is claimed, his club may not option him to the minor leagues, and any subsequent waiver request during the same period becomes irrevocable.”

07-23-2011, 09:55 PM
Thanks for sharing this. I learned several things by reading this article.

07-23-2011, 10:10 PM
We were having a conversation about this a few weeks ago:

OK so I had to double-check this, and I feel comfortable in posting this now.

It's actually not a reason for teams to be hesitant. Let me explain:

The rule says it's a 3-year clock beginning with the first reporting. One (1) year is shaved off that 3-year clock for each year an option is used *prior* to the season they first report.

So let's use an example:

Player A is added to the 40-man roster in November 2007 when the protection lists are due to the league for the following year.

Player B is also added to the 40-man roster in November 2007

Both players spend the entire 2008 season on optional assignment.

Player A, however, is called up for the first time on September 1, 2009 when the rosters expand.

Player B is not called up. Instead, he's kept in the minors, goes to spring training the following year and makes the active roster. Let's say he reports to begin the season April 1, 2010.

In this case, Player A sees his clock begin September 1, 2009. Because he used one (1) option in 2008, the year prior, his option clock does not end until September 1, 2011 (two years since one was removed because of the option).

Player B, meanwhile, used up two (2) options preceding the year he first reports. That means his clock has just one (1) year left on it. So it begins April 1, 2010 and expires April 1, 2011.

So you see, by calling up Player A in September, the club would actually gain five (5) additional months to use Player A before needing to be exposed to option waivers than Player B. Player A does not have to be exposed to option waivers until September 1, 2011, while Player B has to be exposed beginning April 1, 2011.


However, this article does clear up something we had discussed at that time:

I've heard it suggested before there's been some sort of a gentleman's agreement that you don't claim guys on option waivers. I don't know if that's true or not, but I suppose it could be one explanation.


07-23-2011, 10:17 PM
Yeah, the only thing really new to me was that players couldn't be claimed on waivers on the weekends. Still, it's nice to hear all that info from someone who was talking to a MLB club.