Each team will have a roster of 26-40
players, with 6 extra optional slots available that do not
count against the 40-man maximum. The roster is broken down into these mandatory 26
9 starting hitters
5 reserve hitters
5 starting pitchers
5 relief pitchers
2 spot pitchers
See Lineups for more details on these
Each owner may also fill out the roster with
The team can utilize a taxi
squad/disabled list, which can be used for up to four players
(they do not have to be injured to be on it).
Up to 10
other players may be signed to the minor league roster.
Up to 5 minor league players may be
placed on the prospect list. They do not count
against the 40-man maximum.
One player may be placed on injured
(2017 Rule Change - 1/18/17: Taxi squad
size was increased from 2 to 4 / minor league roster size
changed from 12 to 10).
Any players may be put onto the taxi squad.
However, the minor league roster is limited to players with
salaries of 250 or less. Players on the minor league roster
do not have to be in the minors in real life. Owners may
use the minor leagues to store disabled players or major
leaguers who are slumping or not playing much or don't fit
into the current roster. The only stipulation is that they
don't exceed the 250 salary limit. Note: Any player,
regardless of salary, can be put on the team’s major league
In addition, each team's minor league roster
will be competing for a separate award and additional
funds. The only statistics that will count for the minor
league standings are those actually obtained in real-life
minor leagues. See Minor Leagues for more details.
4.1 Roster Minimums
Given the mandatory positions listed above,
each team must fulfill these minimums:
14 hitters (9 starters, 5 bench)
12 pitchers (5 starters, 5 bullpen, 2
4.2 Roster Maximums
A team can have no more than 40 players, but
since minor league players cannot make more than 250, there
are some maximum limits placed on rosters based on salary.
A team can have no more than 18 hitters
making more than 250 (the 14 active spots plus 4 potential
taxi squad players)
A team can have no more than 16 pitchers
making more than 250 (the 12 active spots plus 4 potential
players on the taxi squad).
Those numbers, however, are not independent
and cannot be added together, since both assume the use of
the 4 available taxi squad slots. There are 26 active
players and 4 taxi openings – anyone else needs to be in
the minors. Thus, a team cannot have more than 30 players
making over 250.
A player on Injured Reserve making more
than 250 does not count against any of these limits.
4.3 Injured Reserve
Owners often ask about adding a disabled
list. Benchwarmer Baseball doesn’t call it that, but that's
essentially what the "Taxi Squad" is (borrowing old NFL
terminology). But it's actually better than a disabled list,
because you don't have to be hurt to be put on it.
Starting in 2006, we added a new roster
designation - Injured Reserve (IR). And, like the taxi
squad, the player does not have to be injured to be put on
it. However, again borrowing from the NFL, when you put a
player on IR, he is done for the season.
You may place one player on IR. Once you do that, his
40-man roster spot becomes open for another player. But, the
only option you have for that player the rest of the season
is to keep him on IR or cut him. He cannot be placed back on
your active roster - including for the playoffs.
If the player is cut and goes back into the
free agent pool and another team signs him, he will be made
active. If a player on IR is traded, the receiving team gets
him as an active player.
This change allows you to hang on to a
player who suffers a season-ending injury early in the
season and maintain some roster flexibility with your taxi
squad positions. Keep in mind, one of the "benefits" of
cutting a player in this situation, particularly early in
the season, is to get a pro-rated salary rebate. Putting a
player on IR will not do that for you.
This is currently limited to one player. BWB
still likes to see teams have to make some difficult choices
on rosters which from time to time puts some premium players
back into the free agent pool (where another team might be
in a better position to hold on to an injured player and
build for the future). If you already have a player on IR,
and want to put another player there, you're going to have
to decide to cut one of them.
4.3.1 Transaction Charge for IR Moves
Rule added December 2014
Injured Reserve was added as a means to hold on to a
player the remainder of a season and not have it count
against the 40-man roster limit, particularly if a player's
salary was too high to allow him to go to the minors.
There's no actual requirement for a player to be injured -
this brings up timing issues and based on how BWB collects
stats and tracks player transactions/status there's no
practical (and, primarily, affordable) way to keep
immediately current with injury status. In practice,
this for many owners has become a legal loophole in the
rules to add a 41st roster spot - players are put here first
before cutting them as a hedge. Then maybe traded away
or cut with no penalty (other than a slight reduction in the
player's salary rebate for the cut). That wasn't
really the intention of the rule and for some owners this is
really a revolving door - with a player put on IR one week
and then cut the next week in order for someone else to be
put on IR. There's a significant amount of
overhead for BWB to process IR moves - largely in checking
no other player is on IR or is also cut that week and
verification of the "Inj" lineup status.
Starting with the 2015 season, there is a
transaction charge of 250,000 Benchwarmer Bucks (250) to put
a player on IR. If a player is on IR for
11 or more weeks or still on the roster/IR at season end, the transaction charge will be refunded
after the season. Subtract the transaction week of the IR move
from the transaction week of the cut; if 11 or greater,
there will be a refund. Since we're adding a Week 26
Cut/IR transaction in 2015, "still on the roster at season
end" means still there after the Week 26 transactions are
- Move to IR Week
14, Cut Week 24 = 10 - so no refund
- Move to IR Week 13; Cut Week 25 = 11 - refund
- Move to IR Week 22; Cut Week 26 = NOT on the roster
at season end - no refund
- Move to IR Week 24 and still on the roster Week 27 =
4.3.2 Signing Players Directly to IR
Rule added April 2018
Beginning roughly around Week 11 in 2018 (to
allow time for implementation), free agents can be signed
directly to IR. The signing team must pay the prorated
salary for the player plus the 250 transaction charge.
Rule added April 2018
This roster designation allows for teams to keep a few
more players each season from their deep minor league
roster. Only players who have never played in the
Major Leagues may given this designation. There are 5
prospect slots available. These 5 do not count against
the 40-man maximum roster size. In addition, these
players may be carried over into the next season without
counting against the maximum number of players that can be
carried over. In December of each year, each team
picks up to 28 players on their roster to retain for the
following season and the rest are cut loose - these 5
players do not count against that 28-player total.
- In 2018, this roster slot will be added on Week 11 -
roughly 2 weeks before the first round draft picks are
added to the player list.
- Players may be added to the prospect list either
from the current 40-man roster or may be signed from the
free agent list directly to the prospect designation.
- In seasons where there is a minor league
competition, Prospects will be included in those minor
- Prospects will not be eligible to be used as "September
- Only players with the minimum salary of 100 are
eligible for this.
- Only players who have never played in a regular
season MLB game may be put on this list (if a player's
name on the player list or roster pages links to an
information/stats page, that player has been in the
majors. Player names that don't appear as links
have not been in the majors.
- For purposes of the "never played in the majors"
status, the player's status when a previous week's
transaction results are posted sets his status for the
current week. Example: At the time that Week 14
transaction results are posted, John Doe is eligible to
be put on the Prospects roster for the Week 15
transactions. John Doe makes his major league
debut a day before the Week 15 deadline - but because
his status is fixed for the entire week, he's still
eligible. But once we get to Week 16 transactions,
you can no longer make that move.
- This move is permanent for the season.
Once you put a player on the Prospects roster, he cannot
be moved back onto the 40-man roster, whether
majors or minors, and cannot be moved to IR. The
only other option for you at this time is to cut him or
- There is a non-refundable transaction
charge of 250,000 Benchwarmer Bucks (250) per player per
season to move a player to the Prospects roster.
This is to cover "development" charges. This
charge is in addition to his salary.
- The final week to place or sign a player to the
Prospects roster is the
week after the trade deadline (Week 21)
- During the selection period for player to carry over
on the roster for the next season, a team can choose to
keep or cut player on the Prospects roster.
However, any Prospects kept will not count against the
maximum 28-player carryover limit.
- When the carryover choices are processed and BWB
moves to the Redistribution Draft, the Prospects will be
restored to the 40-man roster. During the
Redistribution Draft, there is a hard 40-man roster
limit, including anyone who had been listed previously
- After the Redistribution Draft, the Prospects roster
opens again for players to be added.
4.4.1 Salary cap and team cash considerations for
With 5 extra roster slots and cash required for moving
players to prospect status, teams will have more expenses.
- The minimum salary of 100 for 5 additional players
will be factored into the annual salary cap calculation
that is done each November and distributed in December.
- To help cover the transaction charge of 250, teams
will receive an extra 1 million in Benchwarmer Bucks
(1000) per season. This cash will be distributed
AFTER the Redistribution Draft, so it will not come into
play for paying salaries of players retained in December
or for signing players in the Redistribution Draft.
- The use of Prospects is optional - all teams receive
the extra 1000 in cash to cover those costs, but they
can spend it on anything.
- For 2018 only, there will be no extra considerations
of an extra 500 in possible salary. The extra 1000
will be added during the processing of the Week 10