What Does It Mean to be Optioned in Baseball?

Learn about optioning in baseball, why players are sent to the Minor Leagues, and how it can benefit their career. Understand the rules and implications of being optioned in the MLB.

Understanding Optioning in Baseball

Optioning in baseball is a term that is often used in the context of player transactions. Essentially, being optioned means that a player is being sent from the Major League roster to the Minor League roster by their team. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as to make room for another player, to give the player more playing time and development, or to help them work on specific skills.

Reasons for Optioning

  • Performance: If a player is struggling at the Major League level, they may be optioned to the Minor Leagues to work on their performance and regain confidence.

  • Roster Management: Teams may option players to manage their roster and make room for other players who are performing better or are needed due to injuries.

  • Development: Young players may be optioned to the Minors to gain more playing time and experience to help them improve their skills.

Case Studies

One notable case of a player being optioned is Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. In 2015, Bryant was one of the top prospects in baseball and made his Major League debut that season. However, he was optioned to the Minor Leagues in April to start the season due to service time considerations. Bryant used his time in the Minors to work on his skills and was eventually called back up to the Majors, where he went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year award.


According to MLB rules, players can only be optioned a certain number of times in their career depending on how long they have been on the 40-man roster. Players who are optioned must stay in the Minor Leagues for a minimum of 10 days before being called back up to the Majors unless they are replacing an injured player.


Optioning in baseball is a common practice used by teams to manage their rosters and help players develop their skills. While being optioned can be tough for players, it is often seen as a temporary setback that can help them improve and eventually return to the Major Leagues as a better player.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *