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Designated for Assignment (DFA) PDF Print E-mail
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Business of Baseball Glossary
Written by Jeff Euston   
Tuesday, 30 January 2007 07:40

A player designated for assignment is removed from his club’s 40-man roster and, within the next 10 days, traded, released or, if he clears waivers, assigned to the minor leagues. A club may not designate a player for assignment if the corresponding transaction is to recall a player on optional assignment. 

  • A player designated for assignment may be traded. A club interested in acquiring a player who has been designated for assignment may try to work out a trade before the player is placed on waivers, eliminating the possibility he might be claimed by a club with a higher waiver claim priority.
  • A player designated for assignment who clears waivers and is not traded may be released. The player then becomes a free agent.
  • A club wishing to send a player designated for assignment to the minor leagues must first place him on irrevocable outright waivers, making him available to the other 29 clubs in reverse order of won-lost record.
    • If the player is claimed, he is lost to the claiming team for $20,000. (Irrevocable waivers may not be reversed.) The claiming team pays the player the major-league minimum salary for the rest of the season, and the original club is responsible for the balance of his contract.
    • If the player is not claimed (clears waivers), the club may assign him outright to the minor leagues, though he must continue to be paid according to the terms of his contract. A player may be assigned outright to the minors only once in his career without his permission. Thereafter, he may either 1) reject the assignment and become a free agent, or 2) accept the assignment and become a free agent at the end of the season if he’s not back on the 40-man roster. Additionally, player with 3 years of major league service may refuse an outright assignment and choose to become a free agent, regardless of whether he has been sent outright to the minors previously. A player with 5 years of major league service time who refuses an outright assignment is entitled to the money due according to the terms of his contract.


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