Can someone explain to me free agency in baseball?

I thought baseball had a simple 10-5 rule, but some players who’ve applied for free agency don’t appear to meet these criteria, has it changed and am I behind the times?

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9 Responses to “Can someone explain to me free agency in baseball?”

  1. safetyinscars said:

    Free agency happens when a contract is up. If a player signs a three year contract with no options, at the end of the three years, they become a free agent. A 10-5 player only has a right to veto any trade because he has ten years in the pro’s and five straight years with the same club. A 10-5 player has nothing to do with free agency really.

    There are other situations that can happen like arbitration, mutual options, team options and player options, but basic free agency is explained above.

  2. BIG IAN said:

    I thinks it is the same as the bosman rule in football, when their contract runs out, they are free to move to any club

  3. floridaman39us said:

    Free means you dont have to pay for it.

  4. Jeremy said:

    with all the rules now with arbitration and the rule 5 and all it’s gotten more complicated each year. If you want a good description though MLB.com has a good one

  5. Fuzzy said:

    Free agent is a team player whose contract with a team has expired, and the player is able to sign a contract with another team.
    A restricted free agent is free to sign a contract with another team; however, as the name implies, there are certain restrictions to his/her doing so. These restrictions mostly entail the new team giving compensation to the former team for the free agent’s signing, usually in the form of draft picks or (less commonly) cash.
    An unrestricted free agent has no such restrictions on his/her free agency, and so is completely free to sign a contract with any team of his/her choosing.
    10-5 rule has nothing to do with Free Agency in Baseball, a player with 10-5 has the ability to VETO any trade to any team.

  6. stubdooo said:

    Someone replied that there are restricted and unrestricted free agents in baseball. My understanding is that there are no restricted free agents. However, the players are “tiered” into A&B categories. Depending on what the player is rated as, the team losing the player gets a draft pick as compensation. It used to be that the team getting the player had to lose a draft pick. Now the team that loses the player gets an extra pick, determined by the tier of the player. The new team doesn’t lose any draft pick.

  7. Craig S said:

    Some of the answers above stated that a player is a free agent once his contract expires, but that’s not always true. A player can’t become a free agent until he has 6 years of major league service. For the first three years of a player’s major league service, his team can pay him the major league minimum if they choose. After his fourth and fifth seasons, if he hasn’t signed a contract, his salary can be determined through arbitration. If his contract expires again after his sixth year or later, then he is a free agent.

    The 10-5 rule you’re talking about has to do with trades, not free agency. It simply means that a player who has been in the majors for 10 years, including 5 with his current club, has the right to veto a trade.

    As another post mentioned, teams are compensated for losing “A” or “B” list free agents, both through being given a draft choice belonging to the signing team, and in the case of “A” free agents by being given also a “sandwich” pick between the first and second rounds.

  8. football298 said:

    A player is adwared Free Agency when he has more than 6 years of major league service, and therfore can sign with any team he chooses. For a player with more than 3 years of Major League Service but less than six, the team can go to arbitration with that player. A arbitrator would than listen to both sides and decied on how much a player should be payed. However if a team refuses arbitration (because they don’t want his service or don’t think they can afford it) the player also becomes a free agent and can sign with any other team he chooses.

    It used to be that if you sign certain free agents the former team gets a some form of compensation. This has changed begging this year due to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Players Association and Major League Baseball, and therefore a teams can sign whichever free agent they want without offering compensation to his former team.

    The 10-5 Rule has nothing to do with Free agents, it only means that if a player has ten years of major league service and has spent atleast 5 years with his current club he can veto any trade that he wants.

    ON a footnote players often have a no trade clauses in their contract (usually star players like Arod or Maddux) regardless of how many years they have been with a club or in the league. Sometimes it is a all inclusive no-trade clause or a limited no trade clause in which they list teams they are willing to be trade to. However there has been cases in which the player dont invoke that clause, and get traded either because his current team cant win or they had been monetarly compensated to do so.

  9. JK352 said:

    In professional sports, a free agent is a team player whose contract with a team has expired, and the player is able to sign a contract with another team. The term came into wide use in the USA after sports leagues stopped using a “reserve clause”, which provided a repetitive option for the club to renew the contract for one more year, but did not allow the player to terminate his relationship with the team. The result was that a player was essentially property of the team. Once in free agency, a player is in a “pool” of free agents, from which teams can sign players.

    In Europe some countries such as Spain had a system whereby footballers were entitled to a free transfer at the end of their contract. In most countries however this was not the case until the 1995 Bosman ruling by the European Court of Justice which established this right for players in all EU member nations. The ruling has since been extended to cover other professional sports and players from Eastern Europe.




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