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Business of Baseball Glossary
Written by Jeff Euston   
Tuesday, 30 January 2007 16:53

A waiver is permission from other clubs to trade or assign a Major League player’s contract. A waiver request is filed through the Commissioner’s Office and granted for a limited time period.

There are three types of waivers: 1) unconditional release waivers, 2) outright waivers, and; 3) revocable Major League waivers

Unconditional Release Waivers

A club that wishes to release a player places him on unconditional release waivers. He then may be claimed for $1, but the player may choose to refuse the claim and become a free agent.

Irrevocable Outright Waivers

A club that wishes to remove a player from its 40-man roster but keep him in its minor-league system must first place him on outright or special waivers. Outright waivers are not revocable, so a player claimed on outright waivers may not be pulled back by his original club. When a player in the middle of a guaranteed contract is claimed on waivers, the claiming club pays $20,000 and is responsible for paying the rest of the money due under the contract. A club may not request outright waivers on a player with a complete no-trade clause or on a player ten-and-five rights.

Revocable Major League waivers

Major League waivers are utilized in August as a means to gauge trade interest. Between August 1 and the end of the season, a player may not be traded without first clearing Major League waivers. If the player is not claimed within 47 business-day hours, he may be traded to any club. If the player is claimed by another club, the request may be revoked, allowing his current club to pull him back. However, the player’s current club also may 1) work out a trade with the claiming club within 48 ½ business-day hours, or 2) elect to allow the claiming club to take the player for a $20,000 fee and assume responsibility for his current contract. If more than one club claims a player, the club with the lower winning percentage has priority. Once a player on major league waivers has been claimed and the waiver request revoked, any subsequent request for major league waivers during the same waiver period is irrevocable.

A player with a no-trade clause who is claimed on Major League waivers must be pulled back if the player’s no-trade clause allows him to block a deal to the claiming club. However, the player may waive the no-trade clause and join the claiming club.

In addition, major league waivers are required when optioning a player who has options remaining but who is more than three calendar years removed from his first appearance on a Major League roster. Because major league waivers are revocable, players usually clear in this scenario.

Waiver periods & waiver claim priority

November 11 - April 30 (Nov. 11 - 30th day of the next season)

  • The club with the worst won-loss record in the previous season has priority.

May 1 – July 31 (31st day of the season – July 31)

  • The club with the worst won-loss record in the current season has priority.

August 1 through November 10

  • The club with the worst won-loss record in the current season has priority, but American League clubs have priority for AL players, and National League clubs have priority for NL players.

September 1 – April 30 (Sept. 1 – 30th day of the next season)

  • The club with the worst won-loss record in the current season has priority.
 
 
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