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?

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail