Monday, June 20, 2011

The Basics: What are options?

Options are among the more misunderstood facets of the game. Options (or option years) are years in which a team can send a player who is on the 40-man roster down to the minor leagues without the risk of losing that player to another team. A player sent down in this manner is said to be on optional assignment with the minor league club (hence the term "option"). Each player is granted 3 option years, however during an option year, there is no specific limit on the number of times a player can be called up or optioned down. There are, however, a few other noteworthy limitations and exceptions.

A player who has been optioned cannot be recalled until 10 days after the assignment, unless he is replacing a player who is being placed on the DL.

If a player spends fewer than 20 days on optional assignment in a given season, the season does not count as an option year for that player.

If a player has used all 3 options, but has not yet played 5 full professional seasons, he becomes eligible for a 4th option. A full professional season involves at least 90 days spent on an active roster in a given season.

For a list of Mets with options remaining, as well as a more detailed breakdown of individual Mets' option status, check out the Options tab.

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