Options: How They Work and Who Has Them

In an attempt to explain some of the detailed transactions in the world of Major League Baseball, Philly Baseball News starts with a look at options. How is a player "optioned out" and who on the Phillies 40 man roster has options left?

Some of the rules regarding baseball transactions can be a little rough to understand. One of those rules that's often misunderstood is the rule of "optioning out a player". Many fans know that players have three options, but they don't fully understand what that means. The basic explanation is that once a player is added to the 40 man roster, he can be optioned out in three separate seasons. Where the misunderstanding comes in is that a lot of fans understand the rule to mean that he can be optioned out three times, when in fact, he can be optioned out countless times over three seasons.

A player who is "out of options" can't be sent to the minors without first clearing waivers. Players with five years of Major League service also can not be optioned to the minors without their consent.

For some unknown reason, Major League Baseball and their teams don't publicize how many options players have remaining. Using baseball rules and doing some investigative work, it's possible to figure out where players stand. We've read over the rules and done the leg work for you to figure out where the players on the Phillies 40 man roster stand in regard to their remaining options. We'll keep updating this list as time goes on, options are used and players are added to the 40 man roster. We've done our best to compile this list, but can't absolutely guarantee that this list is 100% correct; after all, who do you think we are, Bud Selig?

Players with five years or more experience, who can not be optioned to the minors:

Pat Burrell, Adam Eaton, Tom Gordon, Wes Helms, Geoff Jenkins, Brad Lidge, Brett Myers, Jimmy Rollins and J.C. Romero.

Players out of options:

Clay Condrey, Greg Dobbs, Chad Durbin, J.D. Durbin, John Ennis, Chris Snelling, So Taguchi, Jayson Werth.

Rule 5 Players: (Can not be optioned to the minors without first being offered to the team that they were drafted from and clearing waivers)

Travis Blackley, Lincoln Holdzkom

Joe Bisenius 2
Eric Bruntlett 2
Fabio Castro 2
Chris Coste 2
Cole Hamels 3
J.A. Happ 2
Brad Harman 3
Ryan Howard 1
Jason Jaramillo 3
Kyle Kendrick 3
Ryan Madson 2
Scott Mathieson 1
Carlos Ruiz 1
Chase Utley 1
Shane Victorino 1
Mike Zagurski 2

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