Minnesota Twins: Who’s Out of Options?
A basic explanation of options and a run down of which Minnesota Twins have options remaining
MLB transactions can get pretty complex. Service time, options, waivers (a few different types), DFA’s, arbitration (a few different types), qualifying offers, outrights, two different trade deadlines, disabled list (different types), roster (active, 40 man), drafts (different types, posting system, veterans consent, free agency, it goes on. It’s perhaps the toughest sport to understand in terms of roster rules and player statuses. Puckett’s Pond is here to help cut through the confusion of the perplexing world of MLB transactions.
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Even experienced MLB executives can’t keep it all straight. In 2014, Alex Anthopolous, recently named Executive of the Year, lost Marcus Walden (who is now in the Twins’ system) for no good reason in a botched waiver transaction. We’re, of course, not more educated than MLB executives on roster rules but we’ll share what we do know.
Today, we’ll take a quick and basic look at options and who on the Minnesota Twins has them and who doesn’t. (This will be tedious review for some reader. Feel free to skip to the handy dandy table if you already have a handle on options)
The common misconception is that every time a player is sent to the minors, he’s used up an option—not so. Options are better referred to as option years. During an option year, a player can be sent up and down as many times as needed. Players typically have three option years (there are exceptions…of course…argh!). After a player is added to the 40 man roster and he is sent to the minors, an option year has been burned.
For example, Bill is a baseball player. Bill was added to the 40 man on Nov. 8, 2012. Bill is invited to spring training in 2013 but doesn’t make the team. He’s optioned to the minors. Bill’s team has now burned one of three option years on Bill’s contract. Bill’s team recalls and sends him down four times during the season. Bill has still just burned one option year. Bill doesn’t make the team in 2014 either. Bill’s team has now used two option years. Bill makes the team in 2015 but is sent down in July. Bill’s team has now used all three option years. Bill doesn’t make the team in 2016 and since there are no more option years on Bill’s contact, Bill must be exposed to waivers before being assigned to the minors. Bill is placed on outright waivers and claimed by another team. Bill is happy.
There are plenty of caveats and special cases that can complicate the above scenario but that’s the gist of it. We’ve prepared a chart that will show you who on the Twins’ 40 man roster can be optioned and who is out of option years. The chart also includes whether the player can be outrighted (can he be removed from the 40 man roster?). We’ve made so it’s a simple yes or no (sometimes the answer is “yes, but only if…” or “no, unless…”) and have excluded the sometimes more complicated reasons. We also included the column “service time” which was mainly for our own benefit in determining a player’s status.
We apologize to those of you who already know this and are feeling patronized. “Get on with it!”
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*Not definite but highly likely that Park had no options and outright protections written into his contract. Those detail have not been reported to our knowledge
(Correct to the very best of our knowledge. Shout out to Cot’s Contracts for the data used)
Next: Twins Fail to Reach Deals With Jepsen and Plouffe
Feel free ask any questions about this or any MLB transaction in the comments or on FB/Twitter. If we don’t know, we’ll be pleased to
make something up
research the answer.