Roster Rules – The Rule 5 Draft


Yesterday, I talked about the Rule 4 Amateur Draft. Today I move on to the Rule 5 Draft.

The Rule 5 draft is done every year in December. Only certain players are eligible for this draft:

  • Players must not be on any team’s 40 man roster. There is a deadline for this roster to lock.
  • Players who signed at age 19 or older are eligible if they have been in the organization for 4+ years.
  • Players who signed before age 19 are eligible if they have been in the organization for 5+ years.

The draft order is set in the same way that the Rule 4 draft is set, by won-loss record for the previous season. The difference with this draft is that each team can only draft if they have a spot available on their 40 man roster for this player.  If they do draft someone, they are required to keep that player on their 25 man roster for the entire next season. They are not able to send them back to the minor leagues without at least offering the player back to their original team first. As a result of this, the draft has been used mostly of late to find high potential pitchers who can be hidden down in the major league bullpen.

There is also a minor league portion, where players in A or AA can be drafted, and must be kept in AAA for the whole season.

Notable examples of players found via this draft: Johan Santana, Josh Hamilton, Shane Victorino, Joakim Soria

Sources:

Wikipedia

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