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The Rule 5 Draft That Closed Out Last Week’s Winter Meetings

Last week was a hectic one for those already in the business of baseball and many who are willing to do whatever they can for a small chance of breaking into the industry.  Even if it takes flying to Indianapolis to tread through inclement weather and sitting in a lobby all day waiting for a chance to shake hands with an agent or GM.  It was the 2009 MLB Winter Meetings, which some found eventful, and others not so much.  I was not there, but I sure will be next year, as I should have many players on the minds of MLB General Managers.  Plus, it will be close by in Orlando, Florida.

As for the 2009 Meetings, the big event on the last day is always the Rule 5 Draft.  Quick bullet points to help explain 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.  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.
  • 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.

This year’s Rule 5 Draft was pitcher-heavy.  Of the 17 players selected in the Major League Phase, 14 were pitchers (8 RHPs and 6 LHPs).  15 of the 21 players taken in the Triple-A Phase were pitchers (9 RHPs and 6 LHPs).  All 4 players grabbed in the Double-A Phase were RHPs.  Teams need pitching!  They should take a look at my company’s arsenal of arms.  Speaking of which, one of the pitchers selected in the Triple-A Phase may soon be joining the Dynasty family.  If it happens, we will announce it here.

The New York Mets were extremely active during the Rule 5 Draft.  They took Carlos Monasterios from the Phillies organization in the Major League Phase and followed up that pick by taking three more pitchers and a first-baseman in the Triple-A Phase.  They also took an RHP in the Double-A Phase.  This tells me that they were not too happy with the state of their farm system.  Out of 42 players selected in the draft, the Mets grabbed 6 of them.  Before you read too much into that statement, make note that Monasterios has already been shipped to the Dodgers.

The Nationals were also very active; the team added 4 new players to its organization.  They got a couple of pitchers and a couple of outfielders (including the #1 overall pick of the Major League Phase – Jamie Hoffmann).  That said, the Nationals also lost 4 non-protected players to other teams in the draft.

Want to see how your team/players fared?  Here is the list of all players taken in the draft.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.