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How the 40-man Roster works:
Whenever a player gets called up, he must be added to the 40-man roster, if he's not on it already. If an organization's 40-man roster is at capacity, that could keep an otherwise deserving prospect down on the farm. To add someone to a full 40-man roster, someone would have to be removed, exposing that player to waivers. If a team doesn't have an obvious candidate for that, they may decide to hold off.

A player's service time in the organization also can come into play. A player who is 18 when he's signed can spend four seasons in an organization before he has to be protected on the 40-man roster. Anyone who is 19 or older must be protected after three years. Once past that time of service, a prospect must be put on the 40-man roster if his organization wants to keep him from being eligible for the Rule 5 draft, held each year in December.

In other words, if a team isn't in a position where it has to add a prospect to the 40-man roster (The Padres, for example, don't have to add pitcher Tim Stauffer to the 40-man roster for another two years, technically), they may decide not to bring him up this September.

Also, when you add a player to the 40-man roster, the clock starts ticking on his big league service time. That moves the player that much closer to arbitration, free agency, etc., though one GM said that because it's only 30 days, that's never the make-or-break issue.

Index of Teams:
                   
 
 
  
 
 
 
         
 
 
          
                     
                    
 

               
 
 
              
 
 
        

Minor Leagues:
 
AAA:
 Pacific Coast League:
 
AA:
Southern League:
Eastern League:
Texas League:
 
A:
California League:
Carolina League:
Florida St. League:
Midwest League:
South Antlantic League:
Short-Season:
New York-Penn League:
 
Rookie:
Appalachian League:
Gulf Coast League:
NONE
NONE
Pioneer League:

Images courtesy of MLB.com and MinorLeagueBaseball.com

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