MLB Waivers – What Type Are You?

MLB WaiversDid you get placed on MLB waivers?  Before you start pulling out your hair, complaining to your girlfriend, or throwing equipment around, first take a deep breath.

Next, collect your thoughts such that you can ask the right questions going forward.

Then, this sports agency encourages players to inquire or ask their team to clarify the type or classification of MLB waiver  being attached to their name.

On the other hand, if you didn’t know there were different types of MLB waivers or have no idea what this article is referring to, please read on or contact a professional for help.

MLB Waivers in General

If you are a Major League Baseball player, then you belong to a union called the MLBPA.  As a member of the MLBPA, you have rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) between MLBPA and MLB and you have more rights in the contract or document outlining your salary, bonuses, etc.  So far, very easy stuff…right?

Well, the CBA defines MLB waivers to mean the process a team uses to seek “permission” to seek an unconditional release from your contract.  Now, this doesn’t imply you are not going to get paid.  Instead, it is the process a team takes to remove you from the roster.

If you have questions about whether you are going to get paid, consider seeking a deeper analysis or review of your contract, because that is a question different from this article.

Pressing on, there are five types of MLB waivers:

(1) Revocable Trade Assignment Waivers,

(2)  Irrevocable Trade Assignment Waivers,

(3) Irrevocable Outright Assignment Waivers,

(4) Optional Assignment Waivers, and

(5) Irrevocable Unconditional Release Waivers.

It is important you or your team correctly identify what type of waivers they are attaching to you  because your rights are different based on the waiver classification.

MLB Revocable Trade Assignment Waivers

The first type or classification of MLB waivers is called “Revocable Trade Assignment Waivers”.  Generally, this is the most frequent kind of waiver and used by teams to trade your skills to a different team.  In order for a team to trade your contract to another team, your current team must seek and obtain a waiver.

Unfortunately, what makes revocable trade assignment waivers a pain in the butt is the fact conditions are placed on the waiver.  In other words, a team will tell other teams they are placing you on waivers, but with strings attached.

MLB Irrevocable Trade Assignment Waivers

The second type of MLB waivers is called “Irrevocable Trade Assignment Waivers”.  The difference between this type of waiver and other types of waivers is the fact once a team waives your rights and another team claims your contract, your current team cannot pull a string and say “just kidding”.

MLB Irrevocable Outright Assignment Waivers

The third classification of MLB waives is called Irrevocable Outright Assignment Waivers.  This type of waiver is used by teams to send players to a Minor League team and your team cannot say “just kidding”.

As the name suggests, your current team is stating they are sending you to a Minor League team and you do not have any choice in the matter…unless another team claims you on waivers.  If a new team wants to claim your contract, generally they must do so within seven days.

MLB Optional Assignment Waivers

The fourth type of MLB waives is called  Optional Assignment Waivers.  With this classification of waiver, the team is giving the player the option of play for a Minor League team.

Of course, the first question players in this position often ask is “what if I reject the assignment”.  Unfortunately, the answer to this question is different for every player and depends heavily on your contract.

MLB Irrevocable Unconditional Release Waivers

The fifth classification of MLB waivers is an Unconditional Release Waivers.  According to the rules currently in place, a team can use this type of waiver at any time to release a player.  As the name suggests, this type of waiver cannot be rescinded, taken back, or undone by a team.

Final thoughts on the different classifications of MLB Waivers

By now, you are either more confused than ever or know a little bit more such that you can ask your team for clarification.  Yes, there are very specific rules every team must follow for each type of waiver classification.

Thus, do not despair, get the facts, and respond accordingly such that you are not required to make a split second decision that could impact your playing career.