Free agent open season starts tomorrow and Phillies Nation is hosting its first ever live chat Friday morning at 10 am. Pat Gallen will be at the keyboard providing live updates as teams race to make the first moves. He will also answer questions submitted by readers – visit the homepage starting at 9:45 am to submit questions and be prepared for some intense hot stove discussions.
For those of you interested in how the free agency process works, tomorrow is the day teams must file their Reserve lists for all Major and Minor League levels.
Major league clubs can reserve 40 players, only 25 of whom can be on the active roster between Opening Day and midnight August 31. AAA clubs can reserve 38 and AA clubs can reserve 37, with roster limits of 24 from Opening Day through the 30th day of the season and from August 10 until the end of the season, 23 between these dates. Teams in A, short-season A and Rookie leagues can reserve 35. Class A clubs play with 25-man rosters, while short-season A clubs have 30-man rosters, only 25 of whom are eligible to play in any given game, and Rookie league clubs have 30-man rosters.
Those lists comprise the entire roster of players for a major league franchise. If you are not on any of these lists (and not eligible for the Rule 5 draft), you are a free agent. General Managers like to act fast so they can pick up the cream of the discarded crop at a reasonable price. Expect some hot news in the morning.