Trade Deadline

Definition

The Trade Deadline is the last point during the season at which players can be traded from one club to another.

The 2022 Trade Deadline falls on Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. ET. Prior to the new CBA, the Trade Deadline almost always fell on July 31 at 4 p.m. ET.

2019 rule change

Prior to 2019, July 31 was referred to as the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and players could be traded after that date if they first cleared revocable trade waivers.

The player's original club had three options when a waiver claim was placed: It could either work out a standard trade with the claiming club (the two sides had 48 hours to agree to a deal), allow the player -- and all money remaining on his contract -- to go to the claiming club with no return or pull the player back off waivers. A player who was pulled back off waivers could be placed on trade waivers a second time, but at that point the waiver request became irrevocable. If a player passed through waivers unclaimed, he could then be traded to any club, free of restriction (though all 40-man-roster players in the trade had to clear waivers before being dealt).

Although trades could be completed after Aug. 31 under the old rules, the last day in August was sometimes colloquially referred to as the "waiver Trade Deadline," as players acquired after that date were ineligible to be added to the postseason roster by their new teams.

As of 2019, there's only one Trade Deadline. Players may still be placed and claimed on outright waivers, but trades will no longer be permitted after that date. With regards to newly acquired players, the Aug. 31 postseason roster deadline remains in effect.