Postseason rosters for MLB playoff teams are chosen from the 40-man expanded roster which is set on August 31st each year.
Prior to every postseason series, a manager must name his 25-man roster for that series, and that 25-man roster is picked from the 40-man expanded roster. The only possibility of a change in the postseason roster can occur if there is an injury during the postseason series. At that point, when the injure players is place on the DL, another player can be added to the postseason roster, and the injured player may not return to that postseason series.
Postseason rosters can be named after a team has clinched a position in the playoffs and not before, and the rosters can be changed prior to every postseason series. As of the writing of this article, for the 2017 postseason, only Houston, Cleveland, Washington, and Los Angeles have clinched a playoff berth, so they are the only teams which can set their playoff rosters at this time for the first playoff series. Chances are excellent, though, that those teams will refrain from doing so until the end of the regular season and the opponent for that first series is named.
Discussions with teams about possible trades, or about possible managerial moves, cannot take place until after the end of the World Series, so don’t look for any trades or major movements until the end of October. At that time, MLB free agents are allowed to negotiate with other teams. Usually there is a great amount of activity in December leading up to the MLB Winter Meetings on December 10-14.
What this all adds up to is a degree of uncertainty for anyone on the active, expanded 40-man roster as the playoffs approach. For those players not on a playoff team, the uncertainty will begin in earnest at the end of the World Series.
Professional sports and uncertainty go hand in hand.
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