At Pirates Prospects, not only do we cover the entire farm system, but we also focus on the business side of the game, specifically tracking the service time, options, waiver rules, trade rules, and the MLB draft.  The rules surrounding these events can be vague, so to clear things up, here are some important dates to remember for the 2011 MLB season.

April 11th - The earliest a player can be called up without using a full year of service time in 2011.  A year of service time is 172 days, and being called up on this date would give a player 171 days in 2011.

April 20th - The date which an optional assignment at the beginning of the season becomes official.  An option year is only official when a player spends 20 or more days on optional assignment.  Anyone who was optioned at the sta...

To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail tim@piratesprospects.com.