What Does Optioned Mean in Baseball? – A Simple Explaination

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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what does optioned mean in baseball

Team compositions depend on the performance of each player. However, some players meet the expectations, while others do not. In this case, they would become optioned.

What does optioned mean in baseball? Optioned players are removed from the list of players allowed to play in the game. Teams use this rule to maximize the skills of their roster and increase their chances of obtaining victory.

Optioned Meaning and the Basics


Baseball teams must be equipped with great planning and strategizing skills if they want to succeed, especially in big tournaments. The pitches, throws, and training all matter, but another important aspect is who plays in every game.

Every team has an active roster consisting of 26 players, and a minor league roster, consisting of all 40 players. In MLB options, the players can be taken away from the active roster and placed on the minor.

How Do Options Work in Baseball?


When optioned in baseball, the players can opt to wait until they are taken back to the active roster. Unfortunately, the option rules do not mention that there is a guarantee for optioned players to go back to the active roster.

What happens after ‘optioning’ depends on how the team regards the player. For example, the player can improve his performance and return to the major league. Or his team may put him on waivers and trade him out to another franchise.

In a worst-case scenario, the club may release the player altogether, who will then become a free agent.

Players are allowed to be back on the active roster as long as they have stayed on the minor roster for at least 10 days. If they are pitchers, they must stay for a minimum of 15 days instead of 10.

That said, the minor league options are not a bad place to be in. This provides the MLB player options to prove that they can keep up with their team’s standards of play.

How Many Options Does a MLB Player Have?


Teams select 40 players to be on their roster at the start of every season. Of these 40 players, there would only be 26 players actively participating in the games. MLB player options are only allowed to go back and forth to the options five times a year.

If they do not have any options remaining, the players must be removed from the 40-man roster.

Rules of Options


The main reason for the rule to option a player in baseball is to allow for flexibility of the team and maximize the roster.

Any player may be optioned without being subjected to a waiver. But they may also be allowed to clear waivers. Clearing waivers occurs when a player is not claimed by other teams. There are instances where optioned players can be claimed by another team as long as they submit the appropriate claim forms.

On the other hand, if no one claims the player, the waiver is cleared. Therefore, the player goes to the minor league or has the right to sign with any team that wants him.

Benefits of Baseball Options


The use of baseball options ensures that the team has more flexibility in their team compositions. Designations of players in games are important for the entire career of their players.

Options are also useful for the juniors in the team. They can have many chances to show that they can make their way to the active roster!

Furthermore, baseball player options are helpful for the finances of the team. When players are optioned, they would not be paid their salary, which helps the team allocate spending for more appropriate needs.

Frequently Asked Questions


How many times can a baseball player be optioned?

Five times per season is the limit. An options tracker would be essential to note the maximum times a player could be optioned.

What happens when a player is out of options?

Players can go back and forth and be optioned up to five times. MLB players out of options would need to clear waivers first, and only then could he be sent to the minor league.

What are the differences between outright and option in MLB?

The option rule allows a team to remove a player from their entire 40-player team and send him to the minor roster league. Once a team has used up the option limit for a player, the player will be put on an outright waiver where another team can opt to claim him.


Lineups in every baseball game are one of the most important determinants of its outcome. When players are not performing to the standards of the team, they may be subjected to options.

What does optioned mean in baseball? This rule refers to the team’s control over who plays on the active roster. Players can go through waivers or be outrighted when they are optioned.

There is also a limit, as players can only be optioned up to five times. However, being subjected to this rule is not a death sentence, and it opens opportunities for the players to further hone their skills!

Read more: ACE means in baseball.

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