MMN Roundtable: Who Should Be Protected From the Rule 5 Draft

By Mets Daddy

November 18, 2017 15 Comments

The deadline to add prospects to the 40 man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft is Monday at 8:00 P.M.  Basically speaking, you are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if five seasons have passed since you were signed (or four if you signed after you turned 19 years old).  In making their decisions, the Mets will have to choose between those players who already passed through the Rule 5 Draft last year and those that are eligible for the first time.

The complication in these decisions is you need to save room on your 40 man roster for offseason acquisitions to build your roster into a hopefully World Series contending club.  At times, you just have to make the best educated decision and others you just cross your fingers.  In both instances, you really are looking to protect the best player or fit.  To that end, our writers present the prospect they would protect over any of the other prospects eligible for the Rule 5 Draft:

Michael Mayer – RHP Corey Oswalt

Oswalt, we’ve seen over the last couple of years just how important back-end starters or swing guys can be . The mets have a ton of question marks in the rotation and can’t afford to lose any more starting depth with Oswalt heading to Triple-A in 2018

Matthew BrownsteinRHP Corey Oswalt

The 24-year-old right-handed starter was named the club’s Sterling Organizational Pitcher of the Year along with Eastern League Pitcher of the Year after posting a 2.28 ERA (which led the Eastern League) in 134.1 innings pitched (career high). Oswalt features a four-pitch repertoire, with his fastball able to touch the mid-90s. The Mets had a lack of starting pitching depth in 2017, unable to withstand the glut of injuries to the major league club. Retaining Oswalt, who has a strong build and could be a potential back-end starter, provides depth to a team in clear need of options, as one of their needs this offseason is for a number five starter.

Ernest DoveRHP Andrew Church

I know Church’s 2017 stats with the St Lucie Mets. I also know what I saw. He’s a strong kid. He logged 150+ innings and 25 starts. I saw the swing and miss potential of his slider and changeup. Now healthy he’s also looking to bring back the mid 90s FB he once had.

Corné HogeveenRHP Gerson Bautista

I believe the Mets really have something in Bautista. Although he hasn’t pitched above A I can see a rebuilding team pick him and put him in the pen for a season. Bautista has great stuff and I would hate to lose him this way

Matt MancusoRHP Mickey Jannis

I’m going to go with Jannis because he’s the only minor pitcher I would comfortable with giving a major league start. Considering the lack of starting pitching depth the Mets have in their minor league system, he’s the pitcher the Mets need to keep.

Jacob ResnickRHP Gerson Bautista

Definitely Bautista. I think it would defeat the purpose of the Addison Reed trade if you expose the most promising arm in that return.

Dilip SridharRHP Tyler Bashlor

There were a few options here but Bashlor is the prospect to protect. Bashlor has been well regarded on Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America for his pure stuff. He started putting it together in Binghamton this past year. Bashlor controlled his walks in Binghamton but they still might be an issue going forward. Regardless, Bashlor will strike out many hitters and should be major league ready fairly early in 2018. He seems likely to contribute to the big league team and be the most successful.

Mets DaddyRHP Adonis Uceta

For me, it was between Bashlor and Uceta.  They are both potentially dominant late inning relievers who may very well pitch in the Mets bullpen next season.  Just as important, they are also arms that may very well go targeted in this year’s draft.  Ultimately, I picked Uceta because I believe he is just scratching the surface of what he can be as a shut down reliever.  It also helps that Uceta has much better control than Bashlor having a career 5.0 BB/9 as opposed to Uceta’s 2.5.

We hope you enjoyed our list, and we encourage everyone to share with us who some of their favorite players are in the comments section.

  • Nessim Toledano

    There is no need to leave room on your 40-man roster for off season additions.
    If/when the team makes an addition, they can always remove someone else at that time. Better to protect the players now, even if it means filling all 40 spots on the roster – and most teams do, in fact, fill at least 39 and often all 40 spots.

  • Mets Daddy

    Teams do go up to 39. With that said, you need to keep for acquisitions. By that, I mean you’re not adding a player to protect him from the Rule 5 draft knowing he’d be DFAd once someone is signed in free agency.

  • Ernest Dove

    Considering all the emphasis Mets put on 95+ mph arms when dumping salary id say they might risk taking certain current 40man relievers off to accommodate free agents or perhaps trade them for international pool $$$ or whatever.

  • Nessim Toledano

    Thats a very sensible supposition. But its not a fact. Teams do go up to 40 with some regularity. Besides, why assume that the newly protected player is the one who would be DFA’d when the new acquisitions come in?
    For example, if the Mets decide to protect Guillorme and then later decide to add an infielder, they can then DFA Matt Reynolds.
    I’m not theorizing. This sort of thing happens each and every off season for many teams. The players who are protected are not protected for what they can do today. they are protected for their potential in the future. That assessment does not change when new players are acquired.

  • Mets Daddy

    Targeting Reynolds as a potential DFA is in fact part of the calculation to leave room on the 40 man roster

  • TexasGusCC

    The problem with DFA’ing a player, is then any team can pick him up and put him in their minors, since there isn’t a need to have him be on the 25 man roster. Hence, if you want to keep a guy, add him to the roster or leave him and hope he isn’t taken because a team can’t keep him active all year. Once you DFA him, all bets are off.

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  • Nessim Toledano

    The thing is, not all players taken in Rule V have to be kept on the 25-man roster. That rule only applies to the players taken in the major league phase of the draft. Players taken in the minor league phase do not need to be placed on the 25-man, and can be assigned to any minor league level.
    Since most of the players the Mets might protect are currently in AA or below, they would be exposed to that minor league phase and the 25-man roster rule won’t apply to them, either.

  • TexasGusCC

    From Baseball America on the minor league phase of Rule 5 draft:

    In the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, teams may select any eligible player left off the major league 40-man roster or the Triple-A reserve roster of 38 players. In the Double-A phase of the draft, teams may select any eligible player left off the major league roster, the Triple-A reserve roster or the Double-A reserve roster of 37 players. In other words, a player selected in the Triple-A phase does not rank among his organization’s top 78 talents, and a Double-A selection does not rank among its top 115. In these cases, players are not required to remain on a particular roster.
    Read more at https://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/ask-ba-2/#rlfpMZaF9skukQSX.99

  • TexasGusCC

    Want to remind everyone, the prices for picking up a player in Rule 5 is now $100K/$50K. It’s not $50K/$25K any more, and that’s a good thing.

  • Nessim Toledano

    I really appreciate you taking a level-headed approach and doing your research before jumping in. I have to point out, however, that article is from 2013, and the rules have changed. There are no longer two separate phases for AAA and AA. There is now only one minor league phase. That means fewer players are protected and more players are subject to being taken.
    You make a good point that some of the AA players can be reclassified as AAA players for the purpose of the draft and get a de facto protection from being taken in Rule 5.
    But its also erroneous for BA to state that the 40-man and triple-A rosters contain the 78 most talented players in the org. Some players find their ways on to those rosters for reasons other than talent.
    Just for perspective, nly 33% of the players who reach AA ever make it to the majors, and 66% of those who reach AAA. And many of those turn out to be nothing more than quad-A players, or disappear after a call-up or two. So even at those upper levels, there are a lot of players who are there as filler, and not because they are actually true prospects or have value to the MLB club and its future.

  • Nessim Toledano

    Just for clarification, those prices refer to the major league phase. The cost for players taken in the minor league phase is $24,000 with a $12K return fee.

  • Nessim Toledano

    Much too big a deal is being made of this DFA thing. I’m a stingy guy, and I hate, hate, hate to lose players for nothing. But even I accept that losing players from time to time, either thru waivers or Rule 5, is simply part of the cost of doing business.
    The relevance of a DFA player in the off season is almost nil. Every team has a few players at the fringe of its roster who can be DFA’d without much concern or consequence.
    And while the Mets have DFA’d very few players in recent off seasons, they are the exception, not the rule. Many, may teams make multiple cuts and even play musical chairs all winter long, adding one player and removing another on an almost weekly basis. Several players find themselves being waived and claimed and waived again two, three, or four times in the same winter. Occasionally, a player will even change teams as many as 6 or 7 times. Sometimes they are waived again a day after being claimed. Its just another one of those ugly things that is simply part of the business side of the game.

  • Nessim Toledano

    What difference does it make if you go with 39 or 40?
    You want to DFA matt Reynolds now and sit with just 39 on the roster, rather than keep him, go with 40, and wait to DFA him until after you add a free agent?
    Again, what difference does it make, and what is gained from having 39 instead of 40?

  • TexasGusCC

    I thank you Nessim for pointing this out to me and I will do more homework on it.