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November 2011



Rule 5 Exposures

Written by , Posted in General

As part of every MLB Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 draft. Wikipedia has the following describing how it works:

As in the amateur draft, the selection order of the teams is based on each team’s win-loss record from the prior regular season, each round starting with the team with the worst record and proceeding in order to the team with the best record. Any player selected under Rule 5 is immediately added to his new team’s 40-man roster; thus, teams who do not have an available roster spot may not participate in the Rule 5 draft. Players who are not currently on their team’s 40-man roster are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft, but only after a standard exemption period has elapsed. See Selection eligibility below.

If chosen in the Rule 5 draft, a player must be kept on the selecting team’s 25-man major league roster for the entire season after the draft—he may not be optioned or designated to the minors. The selecting team may, at any time, waive the Rule 5 draftee. If a Rule 5 draftee clears waivers by not signing with a new MLB team, he must be offered back to the original team, effectively canceling the Rule 5 draft choice. Once a Rule 5 draftee spends an entire season on his new team’s 25-man roster, his status reverts to normal and he may be optioned or designated for assignment.

To prevent the abuse of the Rule 5 draft, the rule also states that the draftee must be active for at least 90 days. This keeps teams from drafting players, then placing them on the disabled list for the majority of the season. For example, if a Rule 5 draftee was only active for 67 days in his first season with his new club, he must be active for an additional 23 days in his second season to satisfy the Rule 5 requirements.

Any player chosen in the Rule 5 draft may be traded to any team while under the Rule 5 restrictions, but the restrictions transfer to the new team. If the new team does not want to keep the player on its 25-man roster for the season, he must be offered back to the team of which he was a member when chosen in the draft.

Recently the Cubs made a few moves to add some players to the 40 man roster in an effort to protect them from the draft. Jeff Beliveau, Junior Lake, Josh Vitters, and Matt Szczur were the names protected, which left some guys still open to be drafted.

Abner Abreu, OF
Jim Adduci, OF
Jeffry Antigua, LHP
Adrian Aviles, LHP (ex-OF)
Dan Berlind, RHP
Smaily Borges, OF
Michael Brenly, C
Justin Bristow, RHP
Michael Burgess, OF
Kyler Burke, LHP (ex-OF)
David Cales, RHP
Esmailin Caridad, RHP
Hung-Wen Chen, RHP
Manolin DeLeon, RHP
Carlos Figueroa, INF
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Ryan Flaherty, IF-OF
Marwin Gonzalez, IF-OF
Miguel Gonzalez, C
Yohan Gonzalez, RHP
Gian Guzman, IF-RHP (player coach)
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Jay Jackson, RHP
Blake Lalli, 1B-C
Jordan Latham, RHP
David Macias, IF-OF
Oswaldo Martinez, RHP
Jonathon Mota, INF
Craig Muschko, RHP
Jon Nagel, RHP
Jake Opitz, INF
Blake Parker, RHP
Nelson Perez, OF
Ramon Reyes, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Rebel Ridling, 1B
Carlos Romero, C
Nate Samson, INF
Brian Schlitter, RHP
Ryan Searle, RHP
Kyle Smit, RHP
Marquez Smith, 3B
Matt Spencer, LHP (ex-OF)
Larry Suarez, RHP
Jose Tineo, RHP
Ty Wright, OF

Looking at the list, I’m worried about losing Ryan Flaherty, Jay Jackson, Marquez Smith and Ty Wright.

Jackson has declined in value since a really nice 2009 season that spanned a few levels of minor league ball. I felt like he was close to ML ready at that point and so I’m not willing to give up yet. You can’t tell me he’s worse than someone like Casey Coleman from last year. I would think someone would take a chance and stash him in the pen for the year.

How we’re not protecting Flaherty is beyond me. He’s a 1st round pick from 2008 that can hit for power and drive in runs. He’s by nature a second baseman, but can play short and third and even dabbled in the outfield this year. I’ll be pissed if he stays unprotected and gets selected.

Marquez Smith is a name I’m curious why we’re not at least taking a chance on. With Aramis Ramirez moving on, he’s just one year removed from a decent breakout year in 2010. Why not give the kid a shot to beat out the guys that will be competing for that spot. The only reason I can think of is that Theo and Jed don’t feel he’ll get selected and will be safe. That and the fact that someone like Jeff Baker or DJ LeMahieu can produce more at this point.

Ty Wright is just a guilty pleasure. He’ll be 27 this year, but I like his skills at the plate.

What about you? Are there guys on this list you think have a legit shot at being selected considering the fact that they eat a 25 man roster spot?

  • Norm

    I like Flaherty, Rhee, and Antigua.

    Bruce Miles from the Daily Herald asked about Flaherty and got this response:
    “Cubs felt he had about three good weeks offensively this past season in a hitter’s league and that utility guys who can’t play shortstop rarely stick. In other words, they’re not worried about losing him.”

    Marquez Smith was eligible last year, was left unprotected, and no one took him. Probably thinking this year will be the same.

  • Chuck

    I think some of the protect-him-or-not logic is that the player has to spend the entire season on the other team’s MLB roster. So you can leave guys who are far away from the bigs off the 40-man because no team will forefit a MLB spot to keep him.
    That being said, lets say your team will stink on ice in 2012 (cough, Cubs, cough). Maybe you can use the Rule 5 to grab a young hitter and stash him on the bench and use him the pinth-hit and pinth-run all year then send him down in 2013. In 2012 you give him extra coaching and “simulated games” and such. Ditto for a young starting pitcher. But you put him at the back of the bullpen and only use him for garbage time (God knows there will be enough of those) and just 2012 to work on stuff like command, refining pitches and such with a total disregard for results.

  • Jedi

    Totally agree Chuck – if the Cubs can’t find a place for some of these guys on their crappy roster for the season, why would another team waste a spot on them for 162 games.

  • Schlitter.

  • Seymour Butts

    Still can’t believe we picked Josh Hamilton in a rule 5 draft and sold him to the Reds. Yikes!

  • Dusty Baylor

    Well that was a pre-arranged move, RE:Hamilton…

  • Jedi

    So it’s ok to do incredibly stupid moves as long as you plan on it in advance?

    The Hamilton thing normally goes like this:
    1. Hendry pre-planned that trade (why are we helping the Reds for a small amount of cash)
    2. Hamilton wouldn’t have lasted all year on the Cubs roster (horse hockey;
    3. No one knew Hamilton was going to be that good (he’s a former No. 1 pick whose “troubles” were largely off-field, he’s never been accused of being overrated; just stupid and reckless)

    Furthermore, the Reds already had Adam Dunn and Griffey in the outfield – but THEY had room for Hamilton. Plus, less than a year later we signed Kosuke – so we only didn’t have room during 2007? Was it Murton? Or Jones? Or maybe Cliff Floyd? I’m not sure…those guys were all great as Cubs – oh wait, none of them were.

    It’s dumb to help a divisional rival. It’s even dumber when your rival who has TWO great outfielders and you only have ONE is asking you to help them obtain another outfielder. It makes zero sense, and it made zero sense at the time.

    Hendry thought he was making a quick buck off the Reds by letting them obtain a talented drug addict that would never make the roster. Obviously he didn’t perform the due diligence required which would’ve informed him that Hamilton was recovering and his baseball career was ready to take off again.

    Perhaps making this worse is that because of the 2006 rule 5 draft, the Reds have Edinson Volquez, the Rangers have Josh Hamilton and two AL pennants, and the Cubs got $50,000.

  • Chuck

    I can’t find fault with the Hamilton deal because there was an equal chance that he relapsed and drug-tested his way out of the league.
    I always thought that Murton got the shaft because he can get on base at a good clip. His career splits were: .286/.352/.436
    Not All Star, but not bad either. He is about 30 and should be on a MLB club.

  • Norm

    I’m with you Chuck. I have no problem not giving a big league roster spot to a player that was out of baseball for 3 years because he was addicted to putting needles in his arms.

  • Steve

    I was a huge Murton fan- another young player the Cubs wanted to bring along slowly and platoon to begin their career- wow, I’m so glad a new regime is in town.

    I think maybe Caridad gets picked up- he was up with Chicago I think the year before last, and it seems like if he puts it together, he’ll be a good 7th inning guy. Can’t hurt to take a flyer.

  • I can’t remember for sure, but I don’t think he ever used needles. I think it was lines of cocaine he was doing. Not positive though. Not that it makes it any better. =)

  • Mike W

    Yeah I am pretty sure it was lines also. He probably did a few with Ron Washington as he also admitted doing cocaine too. Anyone else think maybe Starlin and Dale Sveum should do a few together it worked out for the Rangers….

  • Dusty Baylor

    Ok. Would the Cubs have put in a claim on Hamilton on their own? It worked out for the Reds, but it’s not like he didn’t have unbelievable baggage…and after a 4 year layoff, hit .260/.327/.360 in lo A? It’s not like this was a slam dunk of a move.
    Hindsight is 20 effing 20 isn’t it.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Dusty, I think the point is doing favors for division rivals can come back to bite you. In this case it did. I don’t think anyone would be criticizing Hendry if he had simply passed on Hamilton like so many other teams did. It’s that he gift-wrapped him for the Reds, and that their $50,000 investment is still paying big dividends.

  • Dusty Baylor

    I can see your point about division rivals. But calling the Cubs out on a Rule 5 pick like that, I don’t agree with He turned it around, and has been a very good player. But this wasn’t a slam dunk…he was a druggie, who had played 15 games in 4 seasons… eh…..It’s not something to get in a twist about. The Reds got lucky.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Dusty, In a vacuum, I might agree. But look at the poor quality of OFers we’ve had during Hamilton’s resurgence, and tell me he wasn’t at least worth the $50,000 bet the Reds made on him. On its own, letting Hamilton slip through our fingers is aggravating. When you look at the cast of incompetents we’ve paid big money–any one of whom he could have replaced–it becomes infuriating.

  • Jedi

    Someone check Norm for track marks…now we know how he takes his drugs.

  • Doc Raker

    We didn’t need Hamilton, we had Korey Patterson.

  • Jedi

    Dusty – the Rule 5 draft isn’t supposed to yield a slam dunk. The complaint is that the Cubs couldn’t afford to take a flier on a former No. 1 pick when they had 2 of 3 outfield positions largely unsettled AND their fourth outfielder was an injury-riddled vet. So instead, they sold the pick for a measly $50k inside the division.

    We had platoon players “starting” in RF and LF when 2007 opened (remember Soriano was initially the CF). That team specifically needed a CF, one who could play everyday, and one that wouldn’t cost a lot (after we gave Soriano a king’s ransom).

    Rule 5 picks don’t need to be a slam dunk; an average MLB player would be a great pickup in such a draft. If the Cubs had traded him to a moribund franchise with garbage outfielders, you might have a better case – but they traded him inside the division to a team that was loaded with outfield talent. Clearly, the Reds saw something or did research that the Cubs didn’t; and with Murton, Jones, and Floyd we should’ve been a lot more willing to take a small risk on an ultra-talented CF.

  • Jedi

    Doc, we didn’t have Patterson in 2007 – at least not that one…in 2007 we only had Eric Patterson.


    1. What is the restricted list in regards to this?
    2. In regards to Chuck’s first post – That’s kind of what the Twins did with Johan when they took him in the Rule V draft. Let him stink up the joint for one year on the MLB roster, send him down to the farm, and then bring him up to the majors
    3. In regards to Josh Hamilton. He was never a Cub. The Cubs had no intention of using the pick. Because draft picks can’t be traded, the Reds asked the Cubs to take Hamilton for them. Would everyone here be having a cow if the Cubs gave the pick to the Reds and they used it on Hamilton when they could have taken someone else?

  • Buddy

    David Cales is a “gamer” who “plays the game the right way” and “knows how to win.”

  • Chuck

    So Doc and Seymmour, can I get a sit-down with Theo about a job where all I do is throw out rational ideas that make sense givin the fact that the MLB club is going nowhere in 2012? I could do it from home via Skype and the salary would be less than what Soriano makes per game.

  • Buddy

    Well Chuck, if you tell bad jokes, believe in giving outs away via the sacrifice, and enjoy discussing crappy bands from the 1980s and 1990s, you are certainly qualified for the Cubs broadcast booth.

  • Dusty Baylor

    The Cubs, along with a few other teams, weighed against wven taking a chance on a guy who had sat out FOUR SEASONS, and came back and looked nowhere near ready in low A ball..playing only 15 games.
    The track record of former druggies kicking the habit, and staying clean isn’t great is it?

    Meh….this is not something I’d consider such a big deal.

  • Doc Raker

    Chuck-I will run it by Theo the next time we dine. What kind of rational ideas are you speaking of, entitlement reform, reducing spending, repealing Obamacare, those kinds of rational ideas? If so I will send over a letter of recommendation immediately.

  • Doc Raker

    Korey Patterson, Eric Patterson what’s the difference. Josh Hamilton was a risk in the rule 5, it was a proverbial flyer that worked out.

  • HotRuta

    I think the Hamilton deal just reaffirms the fact that Hendry was continuously overoptimistic about the quality of the ML team. Maaybe H had no intention of taking anybody in the draft, so he figured this would be easy money for an hour of shuffling paperwork.

    Just curious: who else could the Cubs have taken that year? Who else DID they take?

  • Joe


    There really wasn’t anything special in that draft. Joakim Soria is the only name in the ML phase that did anything and he was taken a pick before by the Royals.