Next week, top level executives from every Major League organization will congregate in Orlando, Florida for the Rule 5 Draft, which traditionally occurs at the end of the Baseball Winter Meetings. This year’s Rule 5 Draft will go down on December 9. As a quick refresher, here are the basics of the Rule 5 Draft:
- It is not the Amateur Draft, also known as the Rule 4 Draft, where high school, junior college, and juniors/seniors in 4-year universities are selected in the 50 round draft.
- To be eligible to be drafted, a player must not be on the 40-man roster and must have been in the organization for 4 years if signed at 19-years-old or older, or 5 years if signed at 18-years-old or younger.
- Triple-A players selected must be added to that team’s 40-man roster and kept on that team’s 25-man roster (and active for at least 90 days) for at least one full season. A team selecting a player must pay $50,000 that player’s former team a fee of $50,000. This is known as the Major League Phase.
- That player may be waived by the new team. If he clears waivers, the team that lost him in the Rule 5 draft has the option to take him back for a price of $25,000.
- Double-A players (or lower level) may be selected to play on a team’s Triple-A squad and Single-A players (or lower level) may be selected to play on a team’s Double-A squad.
The Rule 5 Draft is historically pitcher-heavy. Last year, 14 of the 17 players selected in the Major League Phase were pitchers; 8 were RHPs and 6 were LHPs. 15 of the 21 players taken in the Triple-A Phase were pitchers; 9 RHPs and 6 LHPs. All 4 players selected in the Double-A Phase were RHPs. The New York Mets and the Washington Nationals were very active in last year’s Rule 5 Draft. The Mets selected 6 and the Nationals selected 4 of the 42 total players taken.
Before you go ahead and discount the value of the Rule 5 Draft, realize the the draft is responsible for formerly changing the teams for the following players: Josh Hamilton, Dan Uggla, Joakim Soria, Carlos Monasterios, Darren O’Day, Jose Bautista, and Jay Gibbons.
Here are the players that John Manuel of Baseball America is interested in leading up to this year’s Rule 5 Draft. And here are some more players to read up on, presented by Bucs Dugout.