Originally Posted by redsmetz
I've tried finding it myself, but can someone lay out what the timetable is for a player signed to a major league contract? I know it truncates the time the player is in the minors and I'd like to see what the possible consequences are for offering the guy a ML contract.
I know one consequence is that it eats up a 40 man slot when we wouldn't otherwise have to. I'm guessing the timetable is something like three or four years; and in this case, it may not be a bad risk (the 40 man slot being a larger factor than the development time).
It's pretty complicated. All players start with three options years.
Let's say Yonder Alonso signs a contract on August 15th, but the Reds call on him as a September call-up on September 1st. That means he was optioned to the minors for less than 20 days, and an option year was not used (regardless of whether he played or not). But if he is optioned to the minors for 20 days or more, then an option years is used, and he would then have only two option years left.
If after his three options years, he still does not have five full years as a pro (one year as a pro equals 90 days on an active pro roster), he qualifies for a fourth option year.
In other words, if the Reds get creative, Alonso would not use an option year in 2008, and for 2009-2012, he could spend each year in the minors, which would mean that he would have to be ready for the Major Leagues in 2013. Like I said, I don't have a problem with Alonso having a major league contract (which would result in him earning slightly more money, since he would be on the 40-man roster) as long as the Reds get a discount on the signing bonus.