Photo by Cheryl Pursell
While the major league free agents get the big spotlight, there are sometimes minor league free agents that can help a team at some point during the season.
To qualify for minor league free agency, a player must have had his original contract renewed six times and has spent all or any part of at least seven separate seasons on a minor league roster and is not signed to a contract for the following season by the fifth day after the end of the World Series (for 2017, that means Monday, November 6).
Also, if a player has been released or non-tendered at any point during his career and his current contract – not his original contract – has expired.
Players do not gain a year of minor league service if they spend the entire season on a major league roster, disabled list or other major league inactive list, or if they spend an entire season on the Restricted List, Disqualified List, Suspended List, Ineligible List, Voluntarily Retired List and/or Military List. Playing in either an instructional league or Arizona Fall League does not count as a minor league season.
A player may either be added to the team’s 40-man roster or signed to a new minor league contract to avoid becoming a free agent.