Tendering Contracts to Unsigned Players on MLB Reserve ListTendering Contracts to Unsigned Players on MLB Reserve List
If an unsigned player on an MLB Reserve List is not tendered a contract by 8 PM (Eastern) on the Friday prior to Thanksgiving (November 17th in 2023), the player is said to be "Non-Tendered," he is immediately removed from his club's MLB 40-man roster, and he becomes an unrestricted free-agent, free to sign a major league or minor league contract with any club, including the club that non-tendered the player.
NOTE: Prior to 2022, the MLB contract tender date was December 2nd.
A "Non-Tendered" player receives no termination pay, and the player's former club receives no compensation if the player subsequently signs with another club.
Unlike players who receive an outright release, a player who is not tendered a contract is not placed on waivers prior to becoming a free-agent.
Each unsigned player on an MLB 40-man roster who is tendered a contract must be offered at least the MLB minimum salary ($700,000 in 2022, $720,000 in 2023, $740,000 in 2024, $760,000 in 2025, and $780,000 in 2026) and (with a couple of exceptions) at least 80% of the player's previous season's salary, and at least 70% of the player's salary from two seasons back.
Some players have a "minor league split" salary in their contract which they are paid if they are sent to the minors. In most cases, a player's minor league "split" salary must be at least 50% of the player's salary (what the player was actually paid) from the previous season. The one exception is if a free-agent signs a major league contract with a minor league "split" salary, the "50% rule" does not apply.
The minor league "split" minimum salary is $114,100 in 2022, $117,400 in 2023, $120,600 in 2024, $123,900 in 2025, and $127,100 in 2026, and the minor league "split" minimum salary for players who are on an MLB Reserve List for the first time is $57,200 in 2022, $58,800 in 2023, $60,300 in 2024, $62,000 in 2025, and $63,600 in 2026.