Throughout the week, we've addressed important points regarding next year's roster construction. I informed you about the club's arbitration eligible players, Travis talked about the contract options the Brewers (no longer) have to make decisions about, and Derek educated you regarding the club's impending free agents and previewed the 2016 payroll.
An under appreciated, but still important, aspect of roster construction is minor league free agency, which begins this Friday. There are five ways that a player can become eligible for minor league free agency, but the most common is MLB Rule 55:
MLB RULE 55: Sometimes called a "Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent," an unsigned minor league player is automatically declared a free-agent at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series if the player has had his first contract renewed six times and has spent all or any part of at least seven separate seasons on a minor league roster (including all or parts of any season spent on Optional Assignment to the minors), and/or if the player has been previously released or non-tendered in his career and his present contract (known as a "second contract" even if it's his third or fourth minor league contract) has expired. For purposes of determining eligibility to be a free-agent, a player does not accrue a minor league season if the player spends the entire season on an MLB Active List, MLB Disabled List(s), and/or other MLB Inactive List, or if the player spends an entire season on the Restricted List, Disqualified List, Suspended List, Ineligible List, Voluntarily Retired List, and/or Military List. Also, participation in a post-season instructional league or winter league and/or the Arizona Fall League (AFL) does not count toward a minor league season if the player otherwise did not accrue a minor league season that year. Note that a player who ordinarily would have been declared a Rule 55 minor league free-agent is NOT eligible to be a free-agent if the player is either added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or agrees to a minor league successor contract with his previous club by 5:00 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series. (The deadline is 5:00 PM Eastern on October 15th if the World Series is canceled). The deadline for an MLB club to tender a contract to an unsigned minor league player who had previously agreed to a successor contract is January 15th. If an unsigned minor league player is not tendered a contract by January 15th, the player becomes an unrestricted free-agent.
According to Brewerfan.net, our local nine has 18 players this winter who will be eligible to become minor league free agents under those guidelines. Those players will then be free to sign with any club, including re-signing with Milwaukee. Those players are:
In addition to these players, all of the five that were outrighted off the Brewers 40 man roster earlier this week are eligible to become free agents: Logan Schafer, Johnny Hellweg, Juan Centeno, Cesar Jimenez, and Matt Clark.
While it's safe to say none of these players will turn into stars, one or two could still turn into something useful and might be worth trying to keep around. The Brewers have gotten nice contributions from minor league signings before, for example Zack Duke in 2014. Of this large group, here are five players who I think may be worthwhile to keep around.
Of course, because:
— Tim Dillard (@DimTillard) October 21, 2015
HARRY POTTER pic.twitter.com/nt5EFlXieB— Tim Dillard (@DimTillard) October 19, 2015
And, well, just about everything that you can find on his Youtube channel.
Adam McCalvy reports that the club has re-signed Jaye Chapman to a minor league deal.