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The Bottom Line

What Does Your Advisor's Designation Mean?

Roger Wohlner is an experienced financial writer, ghostwriter, and advisor with 20 years of experience in the industry.

meaning of designated for assignment in baseball

Diane Costagliola is a researcher, librarian, instructor, and writer who has published articles on personal finance, home buying, and foreclosure.

meaning of designated for assignment in baseball

The financial services industry can be confusing. With a variety of professional designations and a variety of acronyms tacked onto your financial advisor's signature, the volume and subtleties that differential designations can add to this confusion.

In this article, we will attempt to explain some of the most common financial advisor designations that you may see.

Key Takeaways

Certified Financial Planner (CFP®)

The CFP® designation is considered by many to be the gold standard for financial advisors. This designation is administered and granted by the CFP Board. An advisor with the CFP® designation has completed the minimum education requirement, holds at least a bachelor's degree, and passed the CFP exam.

The CFP exam is a comprehensive exam that tests the applicant's understanding of financial planning topics. The exam is administered over the course of several days. Candidates must prepare for the exam in advance through successful completion of practice financial planning quizzes and comprehensive readings.

Do You Need a CFP?

CFPs are used to manage your portfolio. If you have questions on investments, financial planning, investing strategy, or portfolio management, consult a CFP.

Once a candidate has passed the exam, the candidate must have either three years' experience in the industry or two years' experience in an apprentice pathway for certification. Also, after successful completion of the exam, the candidate must pass an ethics exam and perform a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education credits every two years.

Last, CFP holders and candidates must adhere to the CFP Board’s ethics requirements that cover areas such as criminal history, personal bankruptcies, client complaints, reasons for any termination by an employer, and general conduct.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The CFA designation is administered and granted by the CFA Institute. CFA charters are widely recognized as a gold standard in financial management, analysis, and planning. To earn the CFA designation, candidates my pass three levels of exams covering accounting, economics, ethics, money management, and securities analysis.

Candidates who wish to obtain their charter must meet one of the following requirements:

Do You Need a CFA?

CFAs are often hired at investment firms for portfolio analysis. Though they have been trained in security analysis, their designation is less directed financial planning.

The CFA charter is considered the premier designation for investment analysts and related professions. Certainly, an advisor who has obtained this designation is well-qualified, though it is important to note that the exam does not cover financial planning for individuals as robustly as the CFP exam.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

The CPA designation is granted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. To earn the CPA designation, candidates need to pass a series of four exams and meet annual continuing education educational requirements. CPA candidates must have a bachelor's degree, at minimum, and may require five years of higher education based on state requirements.

CPAs work as both as accountants and tax advisors for individuals and businesses, both large and small. This designation is also generally required for those working in auditing or public accounting.

Do You Need a CPA?

CPAs are often experts in tax or auditing. The CPA exam does not cover portfolio management; instead, seek a CPA if you need estate, gift, wealth transfer, capital gains, or other tax guidance.

Many CPAs offer investment and financial planning services. However, the CPA designation does not in itself mean the holder is more knowledgeable about financial planning or investment issues. Offering these services is seen as a growth area for CPAs beyond their normal tax and accounting services.

Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)

The PFS designation is granted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). This designation is only available to those who are already CPAs. Many view this designation as the is the financial planning designation for CPAs.

PFS holders must be a valid hold of the CPA designation, be a member of the AICPA, and have two years of relevant teaching of business experience relating to financial planning within five years of applying for the designation.

Do You Need a PFS?

PFS designations are less common than other designations but can be useful if you're looking for a financial planner well-versed in tax issues.

PFS candidates must also have a minimum of 75 hours of financial planning education within the prior five years of applying for the designation. Designation holders must also pass a PFS exam and a meet continuing education requirements of 60 hours every three years.

Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)

The CLU designation is for those who want to focus in life insurance and estate planning. The designation is administered by the American College of Financial Services.

Designation-holders have completed five core courses and three elective courses as well as eight 100-question, two-hour examinations. CLU holders must also meet an annual continuing education requirement of 30 hours and meet strict ethics requirements.

Do You Need a CLU?

CLUs specialize in insurance and estate planning. Their designation does not test on portfolio management or financial planning.

Some financial advisors who hold designations like the CFP may obtain the CLU designation if their focus is insurance and estate planning, though the CLU in and of itself is not a financial planning or investment credential.

Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

Like the CLU certification, the  ChFC designation is also administered and granted by the American College of Financial Services.

Its recommended that candidates have three years of work experience in a related filed prior to applying for this designation. Besides the work requirement, the process ChFC candidates study a similar curriculum to that of the CFP® designation as well as additional personal financial planning electives. Unlike the CFP®, ChFC candidates do not have to pass a comprehensive board examination. 

Do You Need a ChFC?

The ChFC designation is a lot like the CFP designation. If you're looking for a well-founded financial advisor trained in portfolio management, consult a ChFC.

The educational requirements and training for the exam includes areas including retirement planning, insurance, investments, estate planning, and tax. There is some debate within the financial planning practice as to whether the ChFC or the CFP® is the "better" designation, both require a thorough knowledge of financial planning. Both exams cover very similar content, though the CFP is a more widely-recognizable designation.

Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC)

The Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC) designation is designed for advisors who provide their clients with advice on mutual funds. It is administered and granted by the College for Financial Planning.

The program was designed in conjunction with the Investment Company Institute and covers both open-end and closed-end funds as well as asset allocation, risk and return and how to select and advise on mutual funds. The exam also covers professional conduct and retirement planning.

Do You Need A CMFC?

The CMFC designation is highly specialized. Chances are, the designation is too specific for your portfolio management needs - though it is a perfect compliment to other licenses on this list.

Advisors with the CMFC designation have completed a study program focused on the aforementioned topics and passed an exam. Professionals must complete 16 hours of continuing education every other year and pay a nominal fee to continue using the designation.

What Is a CFP?

A Certified Financial Planner is a professionally licensed financial advisor that has been formally educated in portfolio management, security analysis, and financial planning. A CFP often helps clients manage their investments.

What Is the Difference Between a CFP and a CFA?

A Certified Financial Analyst is often more commonly found working for private investment firms. The CFA exam does not cover financial planning, so their expertise does not extend as well to cover traditional individual clients.

Alternatively, Certified Financial Planners have a strong background in financial planning, though their professional license did not test them as rigorously on security analysis.

What Is the Best Professional Designation?

Each professional designation has its own strengths and weaknesses. The CPA and CFA licenses are often considered harder than other designations on this list. However, neither have as strong of a financial planning regiment. Other, more specific designations might be easier to obtain but focus more on what specific clients are seeking. In short, the best designation is the one that is most useful to the holder's clients.

Having a highly qualified financial advisor can be great, but the list of potential designations held by financial advisors can be confusing to investors. Many designations show an initiative by the advisor to continue to learn and grow professionally. As a potential client, it's important to understand what your advisor's designation signifies, as well as the steps that were taken in order to obtain it. Doing so will not only provide insight into their professional focus, but also your advisor's work and education background.

In addition to the designations listed here, there are many others - especially those targeted to specific facets of the financial profession. These are intended for advisors who choose to specialize in things like retirement planning, advising charitable organizations, or legacy and estate planning, among several others. Chances are, if there are specific financial advising services you're looking for, there's a professional designation catering to that specific industry.

CFA Institute. " How to Become a CFA Charterholder ."

American Institute of CPAs. " CPA Licensure ."

American Institute of CPAs. " CPA/PFS Eligibility Requirements ."

The American College of Financial Services. " CLU Chartered Life Underwriter ."




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What Does Designated for Assignment Mean?

Chicago White Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel watches from the dugout after being removed as manager Tony La Russa (22) checks the lineup in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit, Saturday, July 3, 2021.

Like all professional sports, baseball is a game of amazing highs and, for many, some not-so-amazing lows. There are a lot of incredibly talented players and only so many spots on a roster, so if someone isn’t performing, they likely won’t be around for long.

When a player is designated for assignment, often shortened to DFA’d, they are removed from the team’s 40-man roster. From there, the team has seven days to trade the player to another team or place him on irrevocable outright waivers. It’s not a place where players ever want to find themselves, but as teams move through the season and tighten up their rosters for the baseball playoffs , we often see underperformers get DFA’d to make space for new players.

Corey Dickerson says being "Designated For Assignment" by the #Rays "Was hard to stomach"and "Embarrassing". pic.twitter.com/5eskhXIXZg — Kevin ODonnell Fox13 (@ODonnellFox13) February 27, 2018

Irrevocable Outright Waivers

If a player has been designated for assignment, he must be either traded to another team or placed on irrevocable outright waivers within seven days. 

Outright waivers allow a team to remove a player from their 40-man roster, either to cut ties with the player entirely or to send him down to the minors when he doesn’t have any options. The process allows the 29 other MLB teams to claim the player as their own if they want to add him to their roster.

Should another team want to claim the player off waivers, the new team must take responsibility for the remaining money owed to the player and immediately add him to their 40-man roster. The team can assign the player to the minor leagues, assuming he still has minor league options available, or add him to their 26-man roster.

If another team has not claimed the player after 47 hours, he is considered to have cleared waivers. Once this happens, the designating team can send the player outright to the minor leagues or release his contract. If a player has more than three years of service in the major leagues, or if he has previously been outrighted in his career, he can reject the outright option and instead enter free agency.

Players Who Were Designated for Assignment

While being designated for assignment is a long way from flattering, it’s not necessarily the end of a player’s career. Many players have been DFA’d and come back bigger and better than ever, while others have struggled to find their place in the game.

David Ortiz

Long before Big Papi was a ten-time All-Star and World Series MVP in the Hall of Fame, he hit rock bottom with the Minnesota Twins. 

On Dec. 17, 2002, the Twins designated Ortiz for assignment to make room on the roster for shortstop José Morban. Having already battled a long list of injuries, the future was uncertain for the star designated hitter.

Just a month later, on Jan. 22, 2003, Ortiz signed a non-guaranteed free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox that would be worth $1.25 million if he made the team, and the rest is history.

Designated for Assignment ➡️ @baseballhall @davidortiz did what many would consider impossible 💫 #HOFWKND pic.twitter.com/5wINIGmOyA — MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 24, 2022

Liam Hendriks

Chicago White Sox closer Hendriks was designated for assignment a few times in the early years of his career. 

The Minnesota Twins DFA’d Hendriks on Dec. 5, 2013, and he was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs. 

He was then reclaimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles, who then DFA’d him on Feb. 19, 2014, before he’d even played a game, to make room for Ubaldo Jiménez on the active roster. 

Hendriks ended up with the Toronto Blue Jays, who traded him to the Kansas City Royals on July 28, 2014. The pitcher was designated for assignment again on Oct. 24, only to be claimed by the Blue Jays for a second stint and traded to the Oakland Athletics on Nov. 20, 2015.

Congrats to Liam Hendriks on #100 pic.twitter.com/8eLHPvuqfs — Sox On 35th (@SoxOn35th) August 6, 2022

Now a three-time All-Star named the American League’s Reliever of the Year in 2020 and 2021, it’s hard to believe Hendriks hasn’t always been the essential closer he is with the White Sox. 

Sometimes it just takes a minute to find the right team.

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meaning of designated for assignment in baseball

What is Designated for Assignment in Baseball

Designated for Assignment

If you follow Major League Baseball often enough, you’ll hear this phrase: designated for assignment. But it’s a long, confusing phrase for what seems like a pretty simple process. By putting a player on waivers, you remove that player from the 40-man roster .

So why is “designated for assignment” such a unique term—one that you only seem to hear in baseball? Does it mean that a player is no longer on a team? Can a player who leaves a team be able to join another during the season? Let’s look at what this process means and how it differs from other sports.

What Does Designated for Assignment (DFA) Mean?

Most often, a player moves to waivers after a DFA, as this allows a team—if the player does clear waivers—to move that player to the minor leagues. However, this can only take place once in player’s career without their permission.

An Example of How this Works

A player is DFA from the Astros, and two teams (Cleveland and the Baltimore Orioles) have interest in that player. DFA means the player gets to waivers, wherein both Cleveland and Baltimore have the option to add that player to their own roster within the waiver timeline.

Essentially, “designated for assignment” gives a team a lot of options after removing a player from their 40-man roster. And these options may mean that they retain control of the player’s contract, potentially bringing them back to the roster at a different point, rather than letting a player go straight to free agency.

What Does it Mean to Option a Baseball Player?

The “option” in this case relates to the minor leagues. According to the Major League Baseball glossary , “An option allows that player to be sent to the Minor Leagues (“optioned”) without first being subjected to waivers.” This removes a player from the 26-man roster but keeps them on the team’s ultimate 40-man roster.

You’ll often hear the phrase that a player was “optioned to the minor leagues.” Or “sent down to the minors.” That means a ball club moves players to the minor leagues, depending on that player’s eligibility.

For players who have yet to acquire five full seasons of service time (also known as years of major league service), there are typically three “options” available for the team—however, a fourth may be available if the player doesn’t have enough service time and the three options have already been used. Once a player is optioned for the minor leagues, a team has to wait at least 10 days before calling them back up, which prevents constant back-and-forth shuffling on major league rosters.

What Happens when an MLB Player is Released?

A “release” differs from a DFA because it cuts a player from a team. In other words, a release is a clearing of the ties between the ball club and the player.

Major league teams often release players in the offseason, for example, simply because there’s less they can do with their contract. By Spring training, however, major league teams need to start organizing which players will earn a roster spot on their club.

The team’s 40-man roster requires a lot of decision-making by the team, as they’re looking at the options they have with every player’s eligibility throughout the season. And teams who are considering making a run at the playoffs or having a successful regular season have to take into account issues like:

Conclusion on Designated for Assignment in Baseball

Any baseball fan of their team should understand the DFA rules. DFA means that by releasing one of your players, another team can pick that player up. As a fan, it only helps to know what goes into every small transaction for an organization. Also it allows fans to understand the complexity of running an MLB organization!

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Designated for assignment

Designated for assignment is a contractual term used in Major League Baseball . When a player is designated for assignment, he is immediately removed from the club's 40-man roster . This gives the club 10 days to decide what to do with the player while freeing up a roster spot for another transaction, if needed. After designating a player for assignment, the club must make one of the following contractual moves.

Place the player on waivers

Typically a player is placed on waivers after being designated for assignment for the purpose of outrighting him to one of the club's minor league teams. However, a player must clear waivers (that is, no other team may place a waiver claim on the player) to be sent to a minor league team. Also, if the player has five or more full years of major league service, he must give consent to be assigned to the minors. If the player withholds consent, the team must either release him or keep him on the major league roster. In either case, the player must continue to be paid under the terms of his contract.

Trade the player

Once a player is designated for assignment, he may be traded. Some teams have been known to designate players for assignment to increase interest in the player, especially among teams that are not at the top of the list for waivers. For example, in May 2006, Rangers reliever Brian Shouse was designated for assignment, and was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers 4 days later. The Brewers could have waited until Shouse was placed on waivers so they would not have had to give up a player in a trade, but according to the waiver rules , the other 13 AL teams would have preference in claiming him. Also, under the "five and ten rule," if a player has ten years of Major League service, the last five of which with his current team, he cannot be traded without his consent.

Release the player

If a player is not traded, and clears waivers, he may be released from the team. The player is then a free agent and is able to sign with any of the 30 Major League teams, including the team that just released him. The team that releases him is responsible for the salary the player is owed, less what he is paid by the team that signs him.

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meaning of designated for assignment in baseball

Tbones Baseball

What Is Designated For Assignment In MLB?

by Jessy Williamson | Dec 13, 2022 | MLB

meaning of designated for assignment in baseball

Designated for assignment (DFA) is a process by which a Major League Baseball team removes a player from its 40-man roster. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as the team wanting to make room on the roster for another player, or the player not meeting expectations. Once a player is designated for assignment, they are placed on waivers. If no other team claims the player within a certain period of time, they become a free agent and can sign with any team. There are a few different ways a player can be designated for assignment. The most common is when a team option is declined and the player is outrighted to the Minor Leagues . Other times, a player can be designated for assignment as part of a trade. When a player is designated for assignment, it is usually because the team is not happy with their performance. The team will try to trade the player, but if they are unable to do so, they will release them.

A player who has been designated for assignment will be returned to the minor leagues. If a player is claimed by the team, he or she may be removed from the roster or prevented from being on it. When a player is called up from Triple-A, they are released, which is the same as when they are called up from the minors. It is also possible for a player to be placed on the restricted list , which means the team will not trade him but will prevent him from playing in the major leagues. It is the team’s responsibility to put a high-quality team on the field every day in order for it to be the best.

How Does Designated For Assignment Work

How Does Designated For Assignment Work

If a player is designated for assignment — often abbreviated “DFA” — that player is immediately removed from his club’s 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the designation, the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers .

What Is Designated For Assignment In Baseball?

When a player is assigned to a different team, it is usually for a variety of reasons. The team may seek to increase the interest of a player who has not yet been placed on the waiver list . If a new player is added to the roster, there is a chance that the team needs to clear a spot. Finally, a player may be released in some cases simply for the sake of it. As a designated player, a player is immediately removed from the 40-man roster, and the club has seven days to trade him, send him outright to the minor leagues, or release him if it is unable to trade him. A designated for assignment can only be used for a maximum of seven days, whereas options have the option to be used for an entire season. In addition, a player optioned to the minors is still considered part of the 40-man roster, whereas a designated for assignment player is not. It is not uncommon for players assigned to perform an assignment not to receive payment, but this is not always the case. If a team wishes to hire a DFA’d player, they must offer him at least $500,000, which is a little more than a year and a half ago. If a new team picks up the contract amount minus his current salary, he will receive salary relief from the team that originally DFA’d him (assuming he owes the original contract amount minus his current salary).

Designate For Assignment Mlb The Show

In baseball, “designate for assignment” (or “DFA”) is a procedural move whereby a team removes a player from its 40-man roster. This can be done for a number of reasons, such as when a player is no longer needed on the roster or when he is about to be released. Once a player is designated for assignment, he can be traded, released, or outrighted to the minor leagues.

What Is The Difference Between Options And Designated For Assignment?

The following is a list of all the questions you have asked: If a player is on the 40-man roster and assigned to a minor league affiliate , he or she is considered “optioned.” An Option lasts the entire season, so you can go from one to the next, then only use one option.

What Happens When You Designate A Player For Assignment?

A designated for assignment is a contractual term used in Major League Baseball. To be removed from the 40-man roster, a player is immediately designated for assignment.

Designated For Assignment List

A designated for assignment list is a list of players who are temporarily removed from their team’s 40-man roster. These players are often sent to the minor leagues, but they can also be released or traded.

Jessy Williamson

Jess y is an avid baseball fan and writer for the popular website , Baseball Writ es . He has been writing about the sport for over five years and is passionate about sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for the game . He is a proud supporter of his local team , the Toronto Blue Jays , and loves to explore the history and culture of the sport .

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Lorenzo Cain was designated for assignment by the Milwaukee Brewers. Here's what that means.

meaning of designated for assignment in baseball

Lorenzo Cain was designated for assignment by the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday before  the team's game against the Cincinnati Reds on the day he reached 10 years of MLB service.

What does designated for assignment mean and why is that milestone significant for the veteran centerfielder? 

Here's what you should know.

What does designated for assignment mean?

According to Major League Baseball , a player is removed from the 40-man roster when the player's contract is designated for assignment.

The player can be traded or be completely waived within seven days of the DFA.

If the player is claimed by another team, he can be optioned to the minor leagues or assigned to their 26-man roster. A player could reject the minor-league assignment and enter free agency based on service time, for example.

What's next for Cain?

He could retire, which is something he already said was a strong possibility after the season, or another team could sign him after he clears waivers. Cain told reporters in Cincinnati he would take a couple days to decide what his plans will be. 

Why did the Brewers designate Cain for assignment?

Cain said "it was time" and that the decision was mutual as he acknowledged he wasn't producing to his standards. Teams designate players to open a spot on their 40-man roster and usually add a new player.

The Brewers did just that with the addition of outfielder Jonathan Davis from Class AAA Nashville.

Who is Jonathan Davis ?

Davis is 30 years old and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2013 in the 15th round. He has spent most of his career in the minors but made his MLB debut in 2018 with the Blue Jays.

He was claimed off waivers by the Yankees during the 2021 season.

This was his first season in the Brewers organization.

With the Nashville Sounds, he was batting .297, .408 OBP, .426 OPS, with 44 hits, three home runs, 18 RBI in 148 at-bats across 38 games.

He has played 134 total games in the majors with a .171 average,.272. OBP and .520 OPS.

Did MLB's 10-year pension rule have something to do with Cain being designated for assignment today?

Yes. The Brewers waited until Saturday to DFA Cain because he reached 10 years of service. 

When a player reaches that milestone, he becomes fully vested in the MLB Players Association pension. It guarantees a minimum of $68,000 a year for retired players and up to $220,000 if they wait until they’re 62.

How old is Cain?

Cain is 36 years old.

What was Cain's contract?

This was the final year of the contract Cain signed before the 2018 season. 

He signed a five-year deal worth $80 million, the largest the club had extended to a player . The Brewers signed Cain on the same day the team made the huge trade for Christian Yelich.

What were Cain's stats with the Brewers in 2022?

In 145 at-bats in 2022, Cain had a .179 average, .231 OBP and .465 OPS. He had 26 hits, one home run, nine RBI and two SB. 

What are Cain's career stats?

For his career, he has hit .283 with a .343 OBP and .750 OPS. He has 1,220 hits, 87 home runs, 454 RBI and 190 SB.

In 2018, the year in which he finished seventh in NL MVP voting, he batted .308, .395 and .812 and played in 141 games. He played in 148 games the following year, but in 2020, after five games he opted out the rest of the season during the pandemic-shortened year.

Cain returned in 2021 but injuries plagued him as he only played in 78 games and batted .257, .329 and .730.

Cain started his career with the Brewers

The Brewers drafted Cain in 2004 out of  Tallahassee Community College. He made his major-league debut in 2010 and was traded to the Kansas City Royals that December. He won a World Series with the Royals in 2015.

Cain won a Gold Glove with the Brewers

Cain for years was known as one of the best outfielders in the game and his home-run stealing grabs were must-see. He was finally rewarded with a Gold Glove in 2019.

Here is one of the most memorable catches (the 2019 season opener against the Cardinals to take away a home run in the ninth inning that ended the game).

Contact Christopher Kuhagen at 262-446-6634 or at  [email protected] . Follow him on Twitter at @ckuhagen  and our newsroom Instagram accounts at MyCommunityNow and Lake Country Now .

Force out: What happens to players who are designated for assignment?

This has been a big year for one of baseball's most mundane transactions.

From Hanley Ramirez to Matt Harvey, from Phil Hughes to Melky Cabrera, from Adrian Gonzalez to Pedro Alvarez, there may never have been a season with more big names listed in the depths of the newspaper agate pages under those three cruel words: Designated for assignment.

When a team decides to DFA a player, he's taken off the 40-man roster immediately, and the team has seven days - a change this season, as previously it was 10 days - to trade him, send him outright to the minor leagues after he clears waivers, or release him. That is what happens from an official standpoint, but it's easy to forget that there is an actual person whose life is turned upside down when the DFA comes.

Imagine being a professional baseball player, but all of a sudden you have nowhere to play baseball. What do you do?

"It's a complete case-by-case basis," said Angels outfielder Chris Young, who was DFA'd by the Mets in August of 2014, then released before signing with the Yankees and rejuvenating his career.

"I went home, continued to work out and hit, and then I got the phone call from the Yankees. You don't know anything. I didn't know anything. I was just hopeful that another opportunity would come my way, and when it did, try to take advantage of it."

Young makes it sound fairly simple, but just going home and working out to stay in game shape is a challenge. If and when another team comes calling, the opportunity to make an impression can be fleeting.

The best way to prepare for that would be to head to the organization's minor league facility, hit the gym, and get some reps on the field with minor leaguers. When a player is designated for assignment, though, that is not an option - even if the team's plan is for an outright assignment to the minors. During that week, the player is not part of the team, but also not free.

meaning of designated for assignment in baseball

"You're in limbo," said former Cubs infielder Jeff Huson, now a Rockies broadcaster, remembering when he was designated for assignment in 1996 by the Orioles . "You either go home, or you stay in the city for a few days. In my case, I waited around for a few days because I got DFA'd by Baltimore, and I stayed there because I didn't want to go home, because what if it's an East Coast team that claims me? Then I'd have to go all the way back.

"You literally sit there not knowing what your future's gonna hold. It's the worst possible case for a player, because you have no home, and you're trying to stay in shape - where do you go? You maybe go to a high school field? Play some video games and the quarters you have left over, go in the cage? Think about playing in a major-league game, then going to some warehouse and hitting off a machine, or even if you can find somebody to throw to you, they're not going to be as good as what you get in the major leagues.”

At the same time that physical challenge is foisted upon a player, there's also the mental one. It's not just the potential ennui of being without a team, but of having been cut from a 40-man roster. How a player handles that can have a lot to do with what happens next, and seizing that opportunity.

"I never took it as anything bad or looked too far into it when all I could do was just keep working on stuff," said Yankees reliever A.J. Cole, who had a 13.06 ERA when the Nationals designated him for assignment in April, and has posted a 0.69 mark in seven appearances with New York since a trade for cash considerations. "I needed to keep doing what I need to do as a pitcher.

"Everyone says it's always good to get a good start in a different place, and sometimes it is. Right now, it's really helping me, and there's some great guys here that help me out. It's a fun place to play here."

Not every player gets to land with a team as good as this year's Yankees, but there can be positives in other ways. Cubs catcher Chris Gimenez has been DFA'd four times in his career, thrice during the season. His experiences have varied from heading to the minors - "once you decide to accept the assignment, you're champing at the bit to get there" - to being traded to a Cleveland team in 2016 that wound up going to the World Series.

meaning of designated for assignment in baseball

That was Gimenez's third time with Cleveland, having made his debut there in 2009, with stops in Seattle , Tampa Bay , and Texas before returning to Ohio in 2014.

"That was the one that kind of sticks with me," Gimenez said. "In that case, it worked out good, because my wife was basically ready to have our second son. We had two times where we went into the hospital and nothing happened, and that kind of gave me an extra three days. The terrible thing was, we were building our house where we live now, so we were staying with her parents, and our 3-year-old son, at the time, was there. It was a little bit of a crowded spot, and I appreciate her parents letting us stay there, because it wasn't the original plan the way everything happened.

"I ended up spending six days at home - three on the paternity leave, and three after I (was designated for assignment). Then I got the next flight to Texas, and ended up coming home like four days after that anyway - I got traded, was there for a day, then my wife had our son. It was a lot of travel for a few days, but that's alright.

"Every possible way that could've happened to me, it's happened in my career, but that's how it goes, and you can either let it affect you, or just suck it up and go about your business."

Jesse Spector is the sports business columnist for Dealbreaker, a columnist for Rockies Magazine, the host of "Jesse Spector Is..." on Lightning Power Play Radio, and one of the hosts of the Locked On Yankees podcast. He previously was the national baseball and hockey writer for Sporting News, covered the New York Rangers for the Daily News, and worked for SportsTicker, the Associated Press, and the Brooklyn Eagle. He lives in New York.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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