MLB Roster Rules

MLB roster rules are not as complicated as they appear to the baseball novice.  All this talk about 25-man rosters and 40-man rosters may seem confusing, but in reality this is pretty basic stuff. Baseball is, indeed, here.  In Arizona and Florida, pitchers and catchers have arrived in camp, and starting tomorrow, for most teams, the pitchers and catchers will begin their workouts in Spring Training 2017, all with their sights on April and the beginning of the 2017 MLB season.

So, what is all this talk about 25-man rosters and 40-man rosters?

The 25-man roster is a result of the collective bargaining agreement of 1977, and it sets the limit of “active” players on a team at any given time.  It is comprised of the starting nine plus reserves, and only those 25 players may be in uniform and be a part of the pre-game warm-ups.

Those twenty-five players are also part of the 40-man roster.  The 40-man roster is comprised of players who have signed a Major League contract and are eligible for a call-up from the minors during the season.  Those on injured reserve can also be on the 40-man roster.

In September, the 25-man roster expands to a 40-man roster, meaning all players on the 40-man roster can then go to the MLB team to finish out the season.

And that basically sums up the MLB roster rules.

So that’s what teams are looking for in Spring Training right now.  The 25-man roster is inevitably set for most teams before Spring Training begins.  Maybe one or two spots are open for competition, but by this time of the season, most teams already know who will be on the 25-man roster. It then becomes a dogfight for those remaining fifteen spots to make the 40-man roster.

And that means a whole lot of relocation is about to occur in Major League Baseball.

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