As many of you know, players have to be on a club’s 40 man roster or have played less than three years or they are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft (an exception is made for players who were drafted below the age of eighteen – they get an extra year.) Forty man rosters have to be set on or before November 20th.
My understanding is that the new collective bargaining agreement extends those years to four and five years respectively, but I am unclear as to whether or not the new agreement is in place now (before the Rule 5 draft) or will take effect after the draft takes place. Players who will certainly be exposed to the draft are Mike Fontenot, Thomas Atlee, Miguel Negron, Chris Robinson, Ryan O’Malley, Les Walrond, Nic Jackson and Kerry Ligtenberg. Lincoln Holdzkom apparently is no longer in the Cubs minor league system.
Depending upon whether or not the new contract is in effect, Ryan Harvey, Carmen Pigniatello, Casey McGehee and Jake Fox could also be vulnerable. My guess is that the new agreement *is* in effect because I just can’t see Hendry exposing Harvey and Pigniatello in favor of guys such as Jose Reyes and Adam Harben (who pitched poorly in the AFL.) Now would be a good time to trade Fontenot, as he is surely going to be taken by somebody!
Update 12/06/08, 7:47 PM CDT:
It is rumored that Freddie Bynum has been traded to Baltimore for a PTBNL; this frees up a spot on the 40 man for Lilly. It is also rumored that Cubs GM has entered a hospital suffering from dehydration and the flu.