The MLB trade deadline is one of the most pulse-pounding days of the baseball season. While some teams will look to add to their rosters in hopes to strengthen their roster or help make a final playoff push, other are on the opposite end looking to unload players and look to the future.
The deadline is always good for big, World Series-impacting moves each season so here’s everything to know about one of the biggest days in baseball.
MLB trade deadline 2018 date and time
As usual, the trade deadline is set for July 31 at 4 p.m. ET. After that, teams hoping to move a player would have to put him on waivers first.
What to know
Any player under contract can be traded between the ending of the World Series and the July deadline. After the deadline, players must be put on waivers before they are able to be traded. Once put on waivers, any team can claim that player: if multiple teams put in a claim the team with the worse record in the same league is awarded the player. If no one from the same league puts in a claim the same rule applies to the other league.
Once a claim is put in the waiving team has multiple options to move forward. They can work out a trade with the claiming team within two days of the claim, cancel the waiver and keep the player, or do nothing and let the claim go through.
There is also the Aug. 31 waiver deadline — a player acquired after this date is ineligible to be on the team’s postseason roster unless they are replacing an injured player.
Many times a “player to be named later” is included in deadline deals. This player is usually a minor leaguer and means that the two sides either haven’t agreed to the specific player involved in the deal or the player is ineligible to be traded yet. The player must be officially named within six months of the trade.
Teams cannot trade draft picks but can purchase the right to Rule 5 Draft selections.