April 24th

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Called Up

After to last night’s game, Manager Charlie Montoyo announced that Mega Prospect Vlad Jr. will be in the lineup in Friday’s game against the A’s. Last year Vlad Jr. hit a whopping .402/.449/.671 slash line in AA. This year so far in AAA he is still slugging a .336/.414/.564 as a 20 year old. He also hits just MOONSHOTS as a very strong young man. While easily rated as the game’s #1 prospect, he did not make the ball club as service time manipulation was being whispered. He ultimately faced an oblique strain which the club definitely used to their advantage to get the extra year of control. 

Cody Allen – Lost Closer Role

Prior to last night’s matchup between the Halo’s and Yankees, Manager Brad Ausmus told reporters that Cody Allen will no longer be used as the Closer. Struggling with velocity so far in 2019 (a full two MPH slower) he is also allowing many more dingers. He has allowed three already this year. His strikeout rate is also still down tending ever since he was one of the more prominent closers in the game. 

Joey Wendle – Fractured Wrist

Rising star infielder Joey Wendle is now back on the IL, this time with a fractured wrist. During last night’s matchup against the Royals he was hit by a pitch in what caused the fracture. 


  • Yankee’s Gary Sanchez returned from the IL and went 0-4 with 4 Ks. 
  • Erik Gonzalez will undergo surgery to repair his clavicle
  • Rangers prospect Taylor Hearn will be called up to the bigs


Justin Verlander, Wicked 89mph Slider (w/ tail). 🤢

Business of Baseball – Split Contract


A split contract calls for a player to earn different salaries in the Majors Leagues and Minor Leagues. For instance, a player could earn $14,000 per month in the Minor Leagues but be paid a $535,000 salary for the Major Leagues. That player would earn the pro-rated portion of his Major League salary for any time spent on the Major League roster. That is determined by dividing his Major League salary by 183 (the number of days in the MLB regular season) and multiplying that number by the number of days spent on the Major League roster.


The Rangers avoided arbitration with catcher Chris Gimenez by agreeing to a one-year split contract with him in December 2015. The deal afforded Gimenez a $975,000 salary upon making the Major League roster.

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Header Photo Curtesy of The Big Lead

April 23rd

Nick Burdi – Injury Update

After quite the scare on the mound when Nick went to the ground holding his elbow, the news came out rather positive. There are no tears or breaks in his arm, and he has been diagnosed with a flexor mass strain in his bicep. There is no timetable for his return as he is shut down indefinitely. 

Top Red Sox Prospects – Called Up

The Red Sox called up two of their top pitching prospects that both made their major league debuts. Darwinzon Hernandez and Travis Lakins both pitched over two innings in relief in the night portion of the Red Sox double header on Tuesday. This comes right after the Sox called up one of their top overall prospects in Michael Chavis who also hit his first major league dinger.

Anderson Espinoza – Second Tommy John

Top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza has undergone a second Tommy John surgery. While not pitching since 2016, Espinoza was once called a young Pedro Martinez. His stuff was *that* good. Anderson Espinoza was the headlining piece that sent Drew Pomeranz to Boston in a rare one for one swap. That was also the trade that had missing medicals and the Sox were given a “redo” on the trade if they wanted to nix it. It looks like the Sox may of known of some injury potential as they did not rehash on that trade


  • Carlos Martinez is looking to return in the bullpen
  • Hanley Ramirez has elected free agency
  • Brewers and Mets are the frontrunners to land Gio Gonzalez
  • Blue Jay’s top prospect Bo Bichette has a broken hand, expected to get a second opinion


Chris Sale NASTY slider to get the swing and miss (if we are being honest, he wasn’t even close on)

Business of Baseball – Salary Arbitration


Players who have three or more years of Major League service but less than six years of Major League service become eligible for salary arbitration if they do not already have a contract for the next season. Players who have less than three but more than two years of service time can also become arbitration eligible if they meet certain criteria; these are known as “Super Two” players. Players and clubs negotiate over appropriate salaries, primarily based on comparable players who have signed contracts in recent seasons. A player’s salary can indeed be reduced in arbitration — with 20 percent being the maximum amount by which a salary can be cut — although such instances are rare.

If the club and player have not agreed on a salary by a deadline in mid-January, the club and player must exchange salary figures for the upcoming season. Unsurprisingly, the club files a lower number than the player does. After the figures are exchanged, a hearing is scheduled in February. If no one-year or multi-year settlement can be reached by the hearing date, the case is brought before a panel of arbitrators. After hearing arguments from both sides, the panel selects either the salary figure of either the player or the club (but not one in between) as the player’s salary for the upcoming season.

The week prior to the exchange of arbitration figures is when the vast majority of arbitration cases are avoided, either by agreeing to a one- or multi-year contract. Multi-year deals, in these instances, serve as a means to avoid arbitration for each season that is covered under the new contract.

Once a player becomes eligible for salary arbitration, he is eligible each offseason (assuming he is tendered a contract) until he reaches six years of Major League service. At that point, the player becomes eligible for free agency.


Following the 2015 season, Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had two years and 130 days of Major League service time. That landed Calhoun directly on that offseason’s cutoff date for arbitration eligibility, so he was eligible for salary arbitration as a “Super Two” player.

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April 22nd

Gregory Polanco – Activated 

Polanco has been activated and played in last night’s game. After a late 2018 surgery to repair his shoulder labrum, he has made his 2019 debut. This comes as a great relief to Bucs fans that already have Chisenhall, Dickerson, and Marte all on the IL with various injuries. Polanco had a career best year in 2018 featuring a .254/.340/.499 slash line with 23 dingers.

Jacob deGrom – Injury Update

Jacob did end up going in an MRI after all, but the results did come back clean. A HUGE positive for the Mets of course, and because it came back negative for any injuries, he went to the park and threw a bullpen. More updates will come tomorrow if he feels any ill effects from throwing. 


  • Rockies’ Kyle Freeland lands on IL with a blister
  • Gio Gonzalez is granted his release and is now a free agent
  • Michael Wacha will miss one start on the IL with mild tendinitis in his knee.
  • Brad Miller signs a minor league deal with the Yankees 


Chaz Roe gets Maldonado to jump on a wicked slider that hits the outside corner hahaha!

Business of Baseball – Rule 5 Draft


Held each December, the Rule 5 Draft allows clubs without a full 40-man roster to select certain non-40-man roster players from other clubs. Clubs draft in reverse order of the standings from the previous season. Players who signed with their current club at age 18 or younger and have played professionally for at least five years are eligible to be selected, as are those who signed at 19 or older and have at least four years of professional experience.

Not every club will make a selection, but those that do pick a player must pay $100,000 to the club from which said player was selected. Rule 5 Draft picks are assigned directly to the drafting club’s 25-man roster and must be placed on outright waivers in order to be removed from the 25-man roster in the subsequent season. Should the player clear waivers, he must be offered back to his previous team for $50,000 and can be outrighted to the Minors only if his original club does not wish to reacquire him. A Rule 5 Draft pick can be placed on the Major League injured list, but he must be active for a minimum of 90 days to avoid being subject to the aforementioned roster restrictions in the next campaign.

Clubs may trade a player selected in the Rule 5 Draft, but the same restrictions apply to the player’s new organization. However, a club may also work out a trade with the Rule 5 pick’s original club to acquire his full rights, thereby allowing him to be optioned to the Minors under traditional circumstances.

History of the rule

Prior to the 2017-21 Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that selected a player in the Rule 5 Draft were required to pay $50,000 to that player’s previous team. If the player was placed on outright waivers during the subsequent season and went unclaimed, he would be offered back to his previous team for $25,000.

Read a complete history of the Rule 5 Draft here.

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Header Photo Curtesy of The Point of Pittsburg

April 21st

Matt Shoemaker – ACL tear

Blue Jay’s Matt Shoemaker is out for the rest of the season after tearing his ACL during a rundown in Saturday’s game. Shoemaker has had a plethora of injuries in his career and it really just is too bad. Shoemaker has been a solid starter when on the field, and this year has been no exception; pitching to a 1.57 ERA over his first 5 starts so far this year. 

Aaron Judge – Injury Update

Aaron Judge did hit the IL on Sunday and it was not good news at all. Manager Aaron Boone told reporters that its “pretty significant” injury and that he will be shut down from all baseball activities for two weeks and then will be reevaluated. Judge looked to strain his oblique on a swing during a single in Saturday’s game. 

Austin Meadows – Injury 

Rays Outfielder Meadows has landed on the IL with a strained thumb. Meadows has been on fire this year so far, batting a blistering hot .3571/.422/.676 and is a big cause to the great start for the Rays. It does not look like this would be an extended stay for Austin, but it still is a blow to the Rays’ lineup. The Rays activated Joey Wendle and he looks to be a more than capable replacement while Meadows is gone.

Mike Moustakas – Injury

Infielder Mike Moustakas suffered from a fracture in his right ring finger, but is hoping to play through it and not require an IL stint. He left the game on Saturday, and the X Ray revealed the fracture on Sunday. 


  • deGrom actually did not end up getting the MRI, his trainers cleared him from that
  • Max Scherzer dodged a foul ball in his dugout on Sunday tweaking his intercostal, an IL stint does not seem to be necessary
  • Oakland’s Matt Olsen is due to be back in the lineup within 2 weeks, GM David Frost said
  • Mets are looking at Gio Gonzalez
  • Dustin Pedroia looks hopeful to be activated from the IL since his knee is feeling much better


104 MPH backdoor SINKER… yes you read that right. a 104 MPH SINKER

Business of Baseball – Release Waivers


Before a club can formally release a player, that player must first be passed through unconditional release waivers. All 29 other clubs in the Majors have the opportunity to claim the player and add him to their 40-man rosters. A player that is claimed on release waivers has the option of rejecting that claim and instead exploring the free-agent market. Release waivers are often requested after a player’s contract is designated for assignment or in cases when a veteran player would otherwise refuse an outright assignment. Players are rarely claimed off release waivers, as the claiming club is required to pick up the remaining contract. Once the player clears waivers, the releasing club is responsible for the old contract.


In April 2013, the White Sox requested release waivers on left-hander Charlie Leesman, and the Rangers opted to claim Leesman. However, Leesman rejected the claim, elected free agency and quickly re-signed a new Minor League contract with the White Sox.

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Header Photo Curtesy of Vladosta Daily Times

April 20th

Nathan Eovaldi – Injury

In a surprising turn of events, flamethrower Nathan Eovaldi has landed on the IL with “loose body” in his pitching elbow. This comes as a surprise because he had just pitched a gem against the Yankees. Pete Abe of the Boston Globe reports that he is leaning towards a minor surgery to remove them, which could be either bone spurs, or the hopeful: just loose cartilage. He had the same procedure last year which cost him two months. Eovaldi told reporters that the two month timeframe was a little drawn out because he was just fresh off his second Tommy John surgery and expects to be back on the field quicker if all goes as planned.

Gio Gonzalez – Opt Out

Veteran hurler Gio Gonzalez will opt out of his minor league deal with the Yankees. This means the Yankees have 48 hours to either add him to the major league roster, or grant his release, making him a free agent. It does not look like the Yankees will add him, so expect him to land on the market. The most possible suitors would be the Brewers, Phillies, Angels or even the Red Sox: being without Eovaldi for a couple months.

Aaron Judge – Injury

After a base hit in Saturday’s game, Judge struggled to get to first while grimacing the whole way. It looked to be an oblique strain of some sort, and is likely to land on the IL. 


  • The Indians have activated superstar Francisco Lindor to make his 2019 debut, DFA’d Hanley Ramirez
  • National’s Rendon took a fastball off the elbow, X Rays came back negative, but is listed as day to day.
  • Yankee backstop Sanchez is expected to return to the lineup on Wednesday
  • After participating in a pickle, Matt Shoemaker has suffered from a knee sprain. 


Okay this Luis Castillo two seamer is just strait unfair. This pitch came in at NINETY SIX MILES PER HOUR. Just unhittable!

Business of Baseball – Qualifying Offer


The qualifying offer is a competitive balance measure that was implemented as part of the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement and restructured under the 2017-21 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Note: Teams became subject to the following parameters beginning between the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Clubs wishing to receive compensatory Draft picks for the loss of a free agent can make a one-year “qualifying offer,” worth the mean salary of MLB’s 125 highest-paid players, to their impending free agents prior to the onset of free agency if and only if:

1. That player has never received a qualifying offer previously in his career.
2. That player spent the entire season on that team’s roster (in-season acquisitions are ineligible).

A player will have 10 days to accept or decline the qualifying offer, during which time he can negotiate with other teams to survey his market value. Should a player decide to accept the qualifying offer, he is signed for the following year at that predetermined rate (i.e., the mean salary of the league’s 125 highest-paid players). If a player rejects the qualifying offer, he is free to further explore the free-agent market.

Any team that signs a player who has rejected a qualifying offer is subject to the loss of one or more Draft picks. While a team’s highest first-round pick is exempt from forfeiture, any additional first-round picks are eligible. Three tiers of Draft pick forfeiture — which are based on the financial status of the signing team — are in place to serve as a penalty for signing a player who rejected a qualifying offer: [FINISH READING]

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April 19th

Jacob deGrom – Injury

Yesterday the Mets’ GM Brodie Van Wagenen told reporters that deGrom has been placed on the IL after the hurler’s elbow was “barking” at him. There is also some illness hitting him at the same time that could be related. He will undergo an MRI to be safe, but it is not anticipated that it is a major issue.

Blake Swihart – Traded

After being DFA’d by the Red Sox last week, the catcher/utility man Swihart has been acquired by the diamondbacks. The current GM was part of the front office for the Sox that drafted Swihart in 2011. They are very familiar with him, and plan to use him as more of a utility man instead of a catcher because of his athleticism. 

Corbin Burnes – Optioned

The Brewers announce that they have optioned the righty to AAA. He has struggled this year so far to the tune of a 10.70 ERA, after being stellar out of the pen last year. 


  • Yankees sign Logan Morrison


Kyle Hendricks, Filthy back to back Changeups

Business of Baseball – Postseason Roster Rules & Eligibility


Per Major League Baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, players must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for postseason play.

Any player who is on the 40-man roster or 60-day injured list as of 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 31 is eligible for the postseason.

Those on the restricted list at that point are also eligible if they haven’t been suspended for performance-enhancing drugs during that season. (All players who have served a suspension for PEDs in a given season are ineligible for postseason play that year.)

A player who doesn’t meet said criteria for postseason eligibility can still be added to a team’s roster in the postseason via petition to the Commissioner’s Office if the player was in the organization on Aug. 31 and is replacing someone who is on the injured list and has served the minimum amount of time required for activation. (For example, a player on the 10-day injured list who has been on it for at least 10 days, or a player who has been on the 60-day injured list for at least 60 days.) Players who are acquired in September or after are ineligible.

Postseason roster rules

Teams submit a 25-man roster prior to each round of the postseason comprised of postseason-eligible players. A club may request permission from the Commissioner’s Office to replace a player who is injured during the course of a series, but that player is then ineligible for the rest of that round and the subsequent round, if there is one. A pitcher may be replaced only by another pitcher, and a position player only by another position player.

Teams carry extra players throughout the postseason in the event of injuries, and those players, as well as players on the injured list, can be in the dugout during games, within reason.

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April 18th

Khris Davis – Extension 

Big news coming out of Oakland as the A’s as they have inked a 2 year extension worth $33.5 with their slugger Khris Davis. Since being in Oakland, he has been one of the top hitters in the game: averaging 44 HR a year the past three years, and being Mr. Consistent batting .247 for the past four seasons straight. This 

Dustin Pedroia – Injury

After what seemed to be a miraculous come back, perennial all star and former MVP second baseman Dustin Pedroia is faltering again. After undergoing a experimental surgery which basically gave him an entire new knee, running on Wednesday’s loss to the yankees Pedey said he felt a “pop”. He was removed after the second inning. After further inspection yesterday, a doctor in NY said it was not season ending, but the Red Sox have put him on the IL.  


“Homer Bailey, Filthy 84mph Splitter. Voit throws down his weapon and surrenders. “

Business of Baseball – Player to Be Named Later (PTBNL)


When clubs consent to include a player to be named later (often abbreviated PTBNL) in a trade, they agree to decide upon or announce the final player involved in that trade at a later date.

Using a PTBNL can be especially advantageous after the non-waiver Trade Deadline, as players that would otherwise be required to first clear waivers can be included in the trade as a PTBNL — provided they are not on the 25-man roster — and officially sent to their new club once waiver clearance is no longer mandatory for a trade.

In other instances, the club sending the PTBNL away will provide the acquiring club with a list of players from which to select the PTBNL. In such cases, an agreed-upon deadline — by which the acquiring club must select the PTBNL — will often be set.


The July 2007 trade that sent CC Sabathia from the Indians to the Brewers saw Cleveland receive first baseman Matt LaPorta, left-hander Zach Jackson, right-hander Rob Bryson and a PTBNL. The deal was supposed to be centered around LaPorta, but the PTBNL — Michael Brantley — has made a far greater big league impact than anyone else the Indians acquired in the transaction.

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Header Photo Curtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

April 17th

Arodys Vizcaino – Injury

Braves closer Vizcaino underwent season ending shoulder surgery yesterday. The surgery was to clean up and remove scar tissue in his shoulder. The Braves’ bullpen has already had some other guys down on the IL such as Tuesday’s move to sending Venters to the IL, Winkler has been optioned, O’Day still has no timetable for return so the Braves’ bullpen is really not looking too hot. The first thing to think about is a Kimbrel return to Atlanta but that has been shot down already as unlikely. 

Nick Pivetta – Demoted

The Phillies announced that starter Nick Pivetta has been sent down to AAA. While he seemed to be a budding star last year pitching to a 3.7 FIP over 164 innings, he has struggled mightily this year thus far. Allowing the most hits and earned runs in the bigs in 2019, Pivetta has earned himself a trip to AAA for the time being. With the NL East in a four team race, the Phils need every bit they can get, and Pivetta hasn’t given them a reason to keep him there. 

Matt Moore – Injury Update

While previously reported that Moore would be returning from his knee surgery after only 6-8 weeks, the club told reporters yesterday that he will be out for the rest of the season. This came as such a surprise because many other players repairing only a meniscus tear would be back around the original timeframe. Might be reason to question if there was a setback, or a problem happened during the procedure. 


  • Harrison Bader lands on the IL with a hamstring strain, only the minimum time is anticipated 
  • Marco Estrada has hit the 10 day IL with a lumbar back strain, he is known to have back issues


Nick Pivetta just making former MVP Jose Altuve look silly

Business of Baseball – Player Option


A player option is an optional year at the end of a contract that can be applied at the player’s discretion. In such cases, the player has the right to exercise his option and lock in that optional salary as a guaranteed sum or reject the option in favor of testing free agency.


Following the 2014 season, right-hander Dan Haren exercised a $10 million player option on his contract to remain with the Dodgers (although he was ultimately traded to the Marlins prior to the ’15 season). Conversely, Royals outfielder Alex Gordon declined a $14 million player option following the ’15 season and tested the free-agent market in search of a larger contract. He went on to re-sign with the Royals on a four-year, $72 million deal.

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Header Photo Curtesy of Talking Chop

April 16th

Blake Snell – Injured

After a bathroom mishap, the Cy Young award winner of 2018 is now headed to the IL with a broken toe. While only expected to miss one start, Snell has been nothing short of spectacular so far pitching to a 2.16 ERA, so he will be missed. The incident happened while coming out of the shower, he went to move a two piece decorative stand, but did not realize the stand was in two pieces. He moved one and the granite part fell on his toe. 

Greg Bird – Injury

While Bird joins (many) of his friends on the IL, reports are out that he will be missing at least a month with a left plantar fascia tear. It is starting to become insane how many the Yankees have on the IL. That list is now at 12 starters: Severino, Ellsbury, Tulowitzki, Gregorius, Andujar, Heller, Stanton, Hicks, Betances, Montgomery, Bird and Sanchez. Just wow. 

Blake Swihart – DFA’d

In a very shocking turn of events, catcher Blake Swihart has been designated for assignment. Making the team out of camp, this finally looked to be his year. He was a top 25 prospect for a few years, after 2018 had Swihart basically turning into a highly paid bench warmer for the Sox for no apparent reason. Having a near league average bat, which is great for a catcher, and having plus defensive skills it has been a wonder to Red Sox fans why he has never been given the plate appearances to succeed. Hopefully he will now be given that chance. 


  • As said yesterday, Jermey Jeffress has been activated for the Crew
  • Rendon and the Nationals have resumed contract extension talks
  • Indians select Mike Freeman from AAA


Marcus Stroman 93 MPH SINKER

Business of Baseball – Outright Waivers


A club attempting to remove a player from the 40-man roster and send him to the Minor Leagues must first place that player on outright waivers, allowing the 29 other Major League clubs the opportunity to claim him. The claiming club assumes responsibility for the remaining money owed to the claimed player, who is placed on his new club’s 40-man roster. Should the player clear waivers, he can be sent to any Minor League affiliate the club chooses. Outright waivers are also used when clubs wish to remove a player who is out of Minor League options from the 25-man roster by sending him to the Minors.

If a player has more than three years of Major League service time or was previously outrighted in his career (by his current club or another club), he is eligible to reject the outright assignment and instead opt for free agency. Players with more than three but less than five years of Major League service time must forfeit any remaining guaranteed money on their contract if they reject an outright assignment. Conversely, those with five or more years of Major League service time are still owed any guaranteed money remaining on their contract, should they elect free agency following an outright.


When the Red Sox removed Allen Craig from their 40-man roster on May 18, 2015, he was still guaranteed approximately $25.2 million. That was likely one of the reasons he went unclaimed on waivers, allowing Boston to outright him to the Minors. Given his standing as a player with more than three but less than five years of service time, Craig would have had to forfeit the remaining money on his contract in order to test free agency. Thus, he accepted an assignment to Triple-A.

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Header Photo Curtesy of USA Today

April 15th

Shohei Ohtani –  Nearing Return

After a successful Tommy John surgery, two way phenom Ohtani is nearing his return to a major league lineup. He had a successful checkup yesterday, clearing him to begin swinging a bat. Once that starts, he will advance quickly. The Angels really need him back in the lineup as they have had Trout out of the lineup lately, and Justin Upton is still recovering. 

David Robertson – Injury

Closer David Robertson is the latest to hit the IL yesterday. He is suffering from soreness in his pitching elbow, which is no small thing. This is very well the first thing before a chain of lots of very bad things: most notably, Tommy John surgery. Robertson is in his first year of a two year contract worth $23MM. 

Francisco Lindor – Starting Rehab

Superstar Fransisco Lindor is heading to AAA Columbus to begin some rehab games. Obviously the Indians offense, and defense, has taken a hit without Lindor, but it has just been quite abysmal. Lindor will help, of course, but he can’t pick up all the slack. Kipnis has returned to the lineup as well, hopefully these two players can bring the offense back up if the Indians are looking to keep the AL Central crown. 


  • RHP Mike Folty of the Braves is set to only make one more rehab start before joining the big league rotation, the Braves really need it
  • Chris Iannetta to the IL with a strained lat, Rockies select Drew Butera from AAA
  • Jonny Venters hits the IL with a strained calf
  • Tyler Skaggs has landed on the IL with a left ankle sprain


I love seeing Darvish back on here, the Cubs desperately needed him back, and now he is pitching great again. Just look at this slider: unhittable ⬆️

Business of Baseball – No-trade Clause


A no-trade clause is a contractual clause that allows players to veto trades to certain teams. No-trade clauses are often worked into contract extensions and free-agent contracts as a perk for the players signing such deals.

Some contracts include partial no-trade clauses, which allow a player to block trades to a specified list of teams. In the case of a partial no-trade clause, the player that agrees to such a clause will sometimes be allowed to update on a yearly basis the teams to which he cannot be traded without his consent. In other instances, teams will concede to a full no-trade clause that allows the player in question to block a trade to all 29 other teams.

Beyond that, a player that has accumulated 10 years of Major League service time and has spent the past five consecutive seasons of that service time with one team gains the right — termed 10-and-5 rights — to veto a trade to any team.


Per the terms of his contract extension signed in 2011 — which spans the 2016-20 seasons — Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was given the ability to block trades to 23 of the 29 other Major League teams. On the other end of the spectrum, Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco agreed to a very limited no-trade protection as part of his four-year, $49 million contract with Minnesota. As of December 2015, Nolasco was reportedly able to veto trades to just three teams.

The Reds’ Brandon Phillips reportedly invoked his 10-and-5 rights two separate times between the 2015 and 2016 seasons, blocking trades that would have sent him to the D-backs and to the Nationals.

The Nationals had interest in trading for Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon in July 2015, but Papelbon had a no-trade provision in his contract that allowed him to block a deal to 17 clubs — including Washington. Papelbon also had a vesting option for 2016 in his contract with Philadelphia that would be exercised if he finished 48 games. As a means of enticing the right-hander to waive the no-trade clause, the Nationals offered to exercise that vesting option in advance, and Papelbon agreed to a slightly reduced rate of $11 million as a compromise. With those roadblocks worked out, the Nationals traded Minor League right-hander Nick Pivetta to the Phillies in exchange for Papelbon to complete the deal.

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