Per Matt Eddy, twenty-one Rays minor leaguers have qualified for free agency. The list:
Pitchers: Winston Abreu, Joe Bateman, Jason Cromer, Richard De Los Santos, Darin Downs, Carlos Hernandez, Bobby Livingston, Heath Phillips, Brian Shouse, R.J. Swindle, Dale Thayer, Virgil Vasquez
Catchers: Alvin Colina, Matt Spring
Infielders: Drew M. Anderson, Angel Chavez, Chris De La Cruz, Joe Dillon, Chris Richard
Outfielders: Rashad Eldridge, Ryan Royster
Follow the link to see all 533 minor league free agents, including several former Rays players such as Joel Guzman, Fernando Cortez, Jason Isringhausen, James Houser, Eduardo Morlan, Hector Gimenez, and Glenn Gibson.
Does this mean these players have been automatically removed from the organization or do they have to apply for free agency and have that request approved.ReplyDelete
It's covered by Rule 55 of the Major League Rules, here is the exact language:ReplyDelete
Rule 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE AGENCY
(a) ELIGIBILITY FOR FREE AGENCY. At 5 p.m. Eastern Time on October 15 or on the fifth day following the last day of the World Series, whichever is later, of the last year of a player's Minor League Uniform Player Contract, the player’s Minor League Uniform Player Contract shall expire and the player shall become a "Minor League free agent" unless the player's Major or Minor League Club has remaining options to renew the contract. As a "Minor League free agent," the player may negotiate and enter into a contract with any Major or Minor League Club beginning on the first day that year that a Major League free agent is eligible to sign with a different Major League Club upon expiration of the player’s Major League contract.
(b) SUCCESSOR CONTRACT. A player shall not become a "Minor League free agent" if the player has entered into a successor contract with the player's Major or Minor League Club or has been placed on the Major League Reserve List before the expiration of the player's Minor League Uniform Player Contract on the date described in Rule 55(a) (Eligibility for Free Agency). No negotiations for a successor contract may take place before the completion of the Minor League player’s championship season and playoffs or after 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the date the player’s Minor League Uniform Player Contract expires, as set forth in Rule 55(a) (Eligibility for Free Agency).
Initial minor league contracts generally are for six years, so once that's up they automatically become free agents. I included (b) to show what happened with Elliot Johnson, who would have been a free agent if the Rays hadn't added him to the 40-man roster. A lot of minor league free agents end up resigning with their former teams. Hope that answers your questions.