The most recent MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement has altered the player movement process in many ways, some of them pretty big. From the draft rules to free agent compensation, this latest CBA brought some significant adjustments to the process we were all familiar with.

One of the lesser-known changes addresses a subtelty of the process that becomes pretty important this time of year. It deals with a class of free agents who fall under Article XX (B).  This class meets the following criteria:

  • A player whose contract expired after finishing the previous season on the active roster AND
  • Has 6 or more years of major league service and signs a minor league deal

Such players have earned the right to sign a minor league deal with any club, with the following provisions:

  • He must be told five days prior to Opening Day whether or not he will be part of the 25-man roster to start the season
  • If he doesn’t make the roster and accepts a Triple-A assignment, he will earn a $100,000 bonus
  • If he accepts the minor league assignment, and is still in Triple A on June 1st, he can opt out of the minor league contract

All this is in play for such free agents who sign minors deals up until 10 days before Opening Day. The five-day notification date is fast approaching (March 26th) so there’s another set of circumstances to factor into the mix as major league rosters are being solidified.

For a breakdown of this year’s class head over to Zach Links’ post on MLBTraderumors.com, always a reliable source for the technicalities of player movement.