Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rule 5 Draft for Dummies

I'll be the first to admit that things like arbitration the rule 5 draft and collective bargaining confuses me, sometimes to no end. That being said if I get any part of this wrong please call me on it.  The rule 5 draft is named for its rule number in the collective bargaining agreement. Its purpose is to prevent teams from stockpiling young talent in the minors that could be playing in the majors  for other organizations. The rule 5 draft works in a similar fashion to the amateur draft in that the team with the worst record selects first. Players that aren't being protected by being on the teams 40 man roster can be selected by another team but they must be immediately added to the teams 25 man roster and cannot be optioned to the minors for the entire season. In order to prevent abuse of the system the player must be on the active roster for 90 days. This prevents teams from drafting players and them putting them on the DL for the whole season. This may be spread over more than one season. A rule 5 player can be waived at any time. If not signed by another MLB team must be offered back to his original team at half price. The Draftee may also be traded but the Rule 5 guidelines transfer with the player.

  Confused? It's a bit overwhelming. Now in order to protect newly drafted players (from the amateur draft) there are certain eligibility guidelines. Players drafted at age 18 are protected for Four years .Players 19 or older are only protected for Three years. Players can also be protected by being on their teams 40 man roster at the time of the rule 5 draft. Draftees cost $50,000 and if not kept on the 25 man roster they must be offered back at half price. After keeping the player for the entire year a team may then put them in their minor league system, waive them, or keep them on the roster.

 The best example is the twins drafting Johan Santana from the Marlins in the 2000 Rule 5 draft. After keeping him and his 6.49 era on their roster for the entire year they optioned him to the minors for further grooming and well the rest is History. Returning to the majors in 2002 he has been brilliant.

This year the Yankees have added 4 pitchers to their 40 man roster. Protecting Anthony Claggett, Steven Jackson, Michael Dunn and Chris Garcia who would have been eligible. In doing so they have left a couple of important players exposed to other teams namely Alan Horne and Kevin Whelan. Last year Horne had a shoulder injury which hopefully will prevent other teams from taking the risk, however he has great stuff so it is a big risk. Whelan walks way to many batters and struggles with control to much for another team to risk putting him on the 25 man roster for an entire year. The only other one that I would be worried about is Ramiro Pena a young talented shortstop, but to date his bat has no pop. With the lack of infielders out there it wouldn't surprise me to see him get selected.

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