2012 Indians minor league free agents
October 15, 2012
Minor league free agency opens tomorrow, Tuesday October 16th, and with that here is an unofficial listing of the Indians current 2012 minor league free agents.
This listing will grow larger as the Indians remove players from the 40-man roster in the coming days and some of those players become free agents if they have the right to decline an outright assignment to the minors. I have also provided information on some of the rules for determining minor league free agency below the listing.
Right-handed pitchers (5): Jose De La Torre, Jose Flores, Hector Rondon, Loek Van Mil, Dan Wheeler.
Left-handed pitchers (0): None
Catchers (3): Luke Carlin, Michel Hernandez, Matt Pagnozzi
Infielders (4): Jared Goedert, Gregorio Petit, Ryan Rohlinger, Carlos Rojas
Outfielders (4): Aaron Cunningham, Shelley Duncan, Chad Huffman, Nick Weglarz
* - resigned
(Note: Rob Bryson and Paolo Espino are not minor league free agents since even though they were both 2006 Draft picks, both signed 2007 contracts so have one renewable year left on their deals.)
Minor League Free Agency (Rule 55)
Who is eligible: If a player is not on the 40-man roster, a minor leaguer is eligible for free agency and becomes a minor league free agent (MLFA) six years after their first season ends with an organization. This is why they are often called “six year minor league free agents” because they become a free agent after six renewal options afforded to the major league organization have all expired.
In general, once a player has six full seasons in the minors he is eligible for minor league free agency. For example, if a player was drafted in June of 2006 and signed in July of the same year, then his renewal seasons were 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 and he would be a minor league free agent after the 2012 season.
There is an exception to this rule for a player that has been released from their first organization before they have used up all six renewal options. When this happens and the player signs with another club, that organization has the option of signing the player to as many years as they want up until the expiration of their sixth renewable contract. In most cases, however, the new club opts to sign the player to a one year deal, and even if the player has not had six full seasons he would be a MLFA after that season.
Also, a player does not become a MLFA if they agree to a successor contract prior to October 15th. A successor contract is basically just an agreement between player and organization to extend and sign for the following season in the period between the end of the season and the start of minor league free agency (this is what happened with Adam Miller two years ago).
Timeline: On August 1st the Commissioner issues a listing of all players eligible to become MLFAs for the upcoming offseason. On October 15th a player officially becomes a minor league free agent (MLFA) if the club that originally signed him no longer has one of their six renewal options available to them. On October 16th the Commissioner issues the final MLFA list to all clubs, and a MLFA may negotiate a deal with any major league club for a major league or minor league contract.
Follow Tony and the Indians Prospect Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2013 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.