ROSTER MANAGEMENT
 
What is the 25-man roster?
The 25-man roster is the roster that the major league team is comprised of. Players on the 25-man roster are eligible to play in a major league game.
 
What is the 40-man roster?
The 40-man roster is comprised of all of the players on the 25-man roster, anyone who is on the 15-day disabled list, and minor leaguers who usually have played 3 or more professional seasons. Players who are on the 60-day disabled list are not on the 40-man roster. A team may recall players that are on the 40-man roster that are not on the 25-man roster during the season.
 
What is recalling?
When a team wishes to add a player to the 25-man roster that is on the 40-man roster, that player is "recalled" from the minor leagues. If the player that is to be called up is not on the 40-man roster, that player needs to have his contract purchased.
 
What is having your "contract purchased"?
If a team wishes to add a player to the 25-man roster that is not on teh 40-man roster, that player needs to have his "contract purchased". The team that purcahses the contract takes over the responsibility of paying for that player's services.
 
How many players can be on the major league roster?
A team's roster may consist of 40 players until Opening Day, when the number must be reduced to 25 until September 1st, when it again becomes 40.
 
How many players can be on each minor league roster?
There are two separate lists of players for minor league teams: the "active list", and the "reserve list". Players may be transferred between these lists before the start of each game, but only players who are on the "active list" at the start of the game can play in a particular game. The "reserve list" includes all players on the "active list".
  • AAA and AA teams are allowed 24 players on their "active list" for the first 30 games. They are allowed 23 players on their active list after that until August 10th, when they are allowed to have 24 players. The "reserve list" limit is 38 players for AAA teams and 37 players for AA teams.
  • A teams have a limit of 25 players on their "active list".
  • Short season A teams have a limit of 30 players on their "active list".
  • Rookie ball teams have a limit of 35 players on their "active list".
  • Below AA, clubs can have a "reserve list" of 35 players.
 
How does "optioning" work?
Generally, after 3 pro seasons, a player must be protected on a club’s 40-man roster or he becomes eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Once a player is added to a club’s 40-man roster, the club then 3 available option years during which they can place him on “optional assignment” to a minor league club. A player can be sent up and down as many times as the club so chooses within those three seasons. Once a player is “out of options”, he must clear “waivers” in order to be sent down again.
  • If a player is not sent to the minors during a year, an option is not used.
  • If a player is on the 40-man roster in spring training but optioned to the minors before the season is underway, an option is used.
  • If an assignment in the minors lasts 20 days, an option is not used.
How long does a team need to wait after sending a player down to recall him?
A player must be in the minor leagues 10 days before rejoining a major league club.
 
What does "Designated for Assignment" (DFA) mean?
Being "Designated for Assignment" has been known as a "temporary purgatory" for baseball players. When a team wants to remove a player from the 25-man roster or the 40-man roster, they can designate that player for assignment. The team then has 10 days to try to trade that player or place him on waivers. The purpose of designated someone for assignment is to open up that person's roster spot.
 
Which players are eligible are allowed to be on the post-season roster?
Players that are on the 40-man roster by August 31st are eligible to be on the post-season roster. If a player is injured, any player in the organization can be used. The restriction in this case is that a hitter be substituted for a hitter, and a pitcher be substituted for a pitcer.