Roster Rules, Waivers & Other Deadlines

Pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training. Other players will be there soon and before you know it exhibition games will be played. Everybody has an opinion on how teams will fare and which players are "certain" to have good or bad seasons. But that's all conjecture. What we do know for certain are the key dates throughout the 2007 season that pertain to player transactions.

(as per Collective Bargaining Agreement)

February 16
Beginning of new waiver period (Feb. 16 – April 30). Outright waivers secured on or after Feb. 16 remain in effect for seven days or until 5 p.m. EST, April 30, 2007, whichever is earlier. Optional waivers secured on or after Feb. 16 remain in effect until 5 p.m. EST April 30, 2007. Special waivers are excepted. MLR 10 (f).
February 20
Voluntary reporting date for players other than pitchers and catchers.
February 27
Mandatory reporting date for all players. CBA, Article XIV (A).
March 2-11
Clubs may renew contracts of unsigned players. Paragraph 10 (a) of Uniform Player Contract.
March 7
First date clubs may ask waivers on draft-excluded players acquired after 8/15/06 or players chosen in the 2006 Rule 5 draft. (Special waivers are required for all outright assignments to the minor leagues 9/1/06 through 5/1/07.) MLR 6 (e) and MLR 10 (e).
March 12
First date draft-excluded/selected players may be assigned to a minor league club. MLR 6 (e) and MLR 10 (e).
March 14
Last day (by 2 p.m. EST) to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay only 30 days' termination pay. CBA, Article IX (B). (For split contracts, the Major League rate of termination pay is owed if unconditional release waivers are requested after 2 p.m. EST. The requirement for split contract termination pay does not apply for players who may not be assigned to the minors without their consent and for players selected in the preceding Rule 5 draft.)
Last date to trade a player who has exercised his right to demand a trade before he is declared an unrestricted free agent (provided that player has not exercised his right to retract that demand on or before March 14). CBA, Article XX (C).
March 16
Last day to assign an injured player to a minor league club until the end of the season (outright or option) provided that:
1) the player has less than three years of Major League service
2) the assignment would not be the player's second (or subsequent) career outright since 3/19/90
3) the player had no Major League service during the 2006 season, and
4) the player was not selected by the assignor Major League club in the immediately preceding Rule 5 Draft.
CBA, Article XIX (C).
March 28
Last day (by 2 p.m. EST) to request unconditional release waivers on a player without having to pay his full 2007 salary. (Only 45 days' termination pay is due.) CBA, Article IX (B).
April 1
Opening Day. All clubs must reduce their active rosters to 25 players.
April 30
End of waiver period (Feb. 16 – April 30). Waivers secured on or after Feb. 16, 2007, expire at 5 p.m. EST.
May 1
Beginning of new waiver period (May 1 – July 31). Waivers secured on or after May 1 remain in effect through 5 p.m. EST July 31. MLR 10 (c)(4). After May 1, outright assignments to the minors may be made only with outright waivers in effect.
May 15
Earliest date a club may re-sign a player it unconditionally released between midnight 8/31/06 and 4/1/07. MLR 8 (i) (2).
Start of the closed period prior to the First Year Player Draft (approximately May 31).
First Year Player Draft (approximately June 5-6). MLR 4.
June 16
First day a club may trade a player who was signed after the expiration of the 15-day free agency election period. A club may assign the contract before this date for other player contracts and/or a cash consideration of no more than $50,000 if the player gives his written consent. CBA, Article XX (B) (6).
July 31
Deadline (4 p.m. EST) for trading players without waivers in effect. MLR 10 (b)(1).
End of waiver period (May 1 – July 31). Waivers secured on or after 5/1/07, expire at 5 p.m. EST. Major League waivers in effect between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. EST may only be used for optional assignments.
August 1
Beginning of new waiver period (Aug. 1 – Sept. 30). Trade waivers secured on or after Aug. 1, 2007, remain in effect until 5 p.m. EST, Sept. 30, 2007 (the last day of the 2007 season). Outright waivers secured on or after Aug. 1, 2007, remain in effect until midnight EST, Aug. 31, 2007. MLR 10(c)(4)(iv).
Players may be traded only after Major League waivers have been secured in the current waiver period. MLR 10 (b) (1).
August 15
Last date to sign players selected in June 5-6 Rule 4 Draft, except for college seniors, who may sign at any time.
Last date to bring player up for "full trial" to avoid draft-excluded status. MLR 6 (e).
August 31
Post-season eligibility lists are established at midnight. To be eligible, a player must be a bona fide member of a qualifying team on Aug. 31 and must remain a bona fide member until the end of the applicable post-season series. MLR 40.
Any player unconditionally released between midnight Aug. 31, 2007, and Opening Day of the 2008 season may not be re-signed to a Major League contract by the releasing club until May 15, 2008. MLR 8 (i) (2).
September 1
Active Major League rosters expand from 25 to 40 players.
September 30
Close of the 2007 regular season.
October 1
All players on optional assignment must be recalled. MLR 11 (a).
First day players may be traded without waivers in effect.
October 15 or close of 2007 World Series
October 15 or the day after the end of the World Series (whichever is later) marks the beginning of the 15-day period during which eligible players may elect free agency or demand a trade. Former club retains exclusive negotiating rights until 15-day filing period expires. A player who has filed for free agency may engage in general discussions with other clubs but may not discuss contract details or sign with them until the filing period ends Nov. 11. CBA, Article XX (B).
Fourth day after 2007 World Series
Last date to request waivers on draft-excluded players until 25 days prior to the opening of the 2008 season. MLR 10 (e) (6).
16th day after 2007 World Series
First day Major League free agents may negotiate and sign with a club other than their former club. Article XX (B)(2)(c).
November 10
End of waiver period (Aug. 1 - Nov. 10). Waivers secured on or after 8/1/06, expire at 5 p.m. EST. MLR 10 (c)(4).
November 11
Beginning of new waiver period (Nov. 11, 2007 - Feb. 15, 2008). Waivers secured on or after 11/11/07, remain in effect until 2/15/08. Exception: special waivers.
November 20
Deadline day for clubs to file reserve lists for Major League club and all Minor League levels.
Last date to make an off-season outright assignment of an injured player to the Minor Leagues if the player does not meet the requirements listed in Article XIX (C) (b) of the CBA.
December 1
Last day for clubs to offer salary arbitration to their former players who have filed for free agency. A club not offering arbitration may continue to negotiate with the player but does not receive compensation if he signs with another club.
December 6
Rule 5 Draft.
December 7
Last day for a free agent offered salary arbitration by his former club to accept or reject the offer. If player rejects the offer to go to arbitration, his former club may continue to negotiate with and sign him.
December 12
Last day for teams to offer 2008 contracts to unsigned players, as required by Paragraph 10 (a) of the Uniform Player Contract.

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