The MLB Rule 5 Draft is the last order of business at the MLB WINTER MEETINGS, and it is a mechanism that allows MLB clubs to select (draft) players off minor league Reserve Lists. There is a "Major League Phase" where MLB clubs can draft players off AAA Reserve Lists for $50,000, a "AAA Phase" where AAA Affiliates can draft players off AA rosters for $12,000, and finally a "AA Phase" where AA clubs can draft players off the reserve lists of Class "A" clubs for $4,000.
It was hola to one old friend and sayonara to another today, as the Cubs signed minor league FA INF Scott Moore to a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training 2011, and placed Micah Hoffpauir on Outright Release Waivers so that he can sign a contract with the Nippon Ham Fighters (NPB Pacific League) of Sapporo, Japan, where he will be playing on the same team as Japan's #1 pitcher, RHP Yu Darvish.
With Hoffpauir being released, the Cubs now have 35 players on their MLB Reserve List (five slots open) as they continue to consider which players they will add to the 40-man roster by the 11/20 pre-Rule 5 Draft roster-filing deadline.
On the heels of the eight Cubs minor leaguers opting for free-agency this week per MLB Rule 55, the Cubs have outrighted 28-year old OF Brad Snyder to Iowa.
Because he was outrighted previously in his career, Snyder is eligible to be a free-agent immediately per CBA Article XX-D. And he has in fact exercised his right to be a FA (he is not signed for 2011, so there was no point in deferring his free-agency until the end of the 2011 MLB regular season).
15 Cubs minor leaguers were eligible to be Rule 55 minor league free-agents post-2010, and nine ended up choosing to leave.
Several Cubs minor leaguers who can be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent (6YMiLFA) or who are eligible for selection in next month’s MLB Rule 5 draft are making noise in the Venezuelan Winter League (VWL).
The Cubs reinstated RHP Angel Guzman from the 60-day Diabled List today, and then outrighted the 28-year old righthander to Iowa. Guzman missed the 2010 season after undergoing shoulder surgery at the end of Spring Training, and spent most of the past seven months rehabbing at Fitch Park.