MLB Rule 5 Draft

Each MLB club is required to file its MLB Reserve List and the reserve list for each of its minor league affiliates with the MLB Commissioner on November 20th each year (or November 19th if November 20th falls on a Saturday, or November 18th if November 20th falls on a Sunday), and the MLB Rule 5 Draft is held subsequent to the reserve lists being filed.

The MLB Rule 5 Draft is presently the last order of business at the MLB WINTER MEETINGS in December, 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 an MLB club can select Rule 5 Draft eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs for $50,000, a "AAA Phase" where a club's AAA minor league affiliate can select Rule 5 Draft eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a lower classification for $12,000, and finally a "AA Phase" where a club's AA minor league affiliate can select Rule 5 Draft eligible players off the reserve lists of Class "A" clubs for $4,000.

Rule 5 Draft Eligibility

1. A minor league player who was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract is eligible for selection starting with the 5th Rule 5 Draft after he signs, and a minor league player who was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract becomes eligible for selection starting with the 4th Rule 5 Draft that followed his signing.

2. If a player signs his first contract after the conclusion of the season of the MLB or minor league club to which he is first assigned, the next season is considered to be the player's "first season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes.

3. A free-agent with prior MLB and/or minor league service who signs a minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft is eligible for selection if the player was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 5th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract, or the player was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 4th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract. 

4. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has either been released or had his contract voided, and then re-signs with the same MLB organization within one year is eligible for selection. However, a player who was signed after being selected in the First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) cannot be eligible for selection in a Rule 5 Draft until after the first anniversary of the player signing his first contract with an MLB organization.

5. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career is eligible for selection. However, a player who was signed after being selected in the First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) cannot be eligible for selection in a Rule 5 Draft until after the first anniversary of the player signing his first contract with an MLB organization.

6. A player on the Voluntary Retired List, Disqualified List, or Ineligible List is not eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, but a player on the Restricted List or the Military List is eligible for selection. However, a player who was signed after being selected in the First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) cannot be eligible for selection in a Rule 5 Draft until after the first anniversary of the player signing his first contract with an MLB organization.

7. An MLB club can designate any player on a minor league reserve list "eligible for selection" in the Rule 5 Draft even if the player would not normally be eligible, but once a player is made eligible for selection, he remains eligible for selection in all subsequent Rule 5 drafts. However, a player who was signed after being selected in the First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) cannot be designated "eligible for selection" in a Rule 5 Draft until after the first anniversary of the player signing his first contract with an MLB organization.

8. A minor league player-manager who would be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if he was only a player can be selected, but if he is selected, the player-manager can reject the selection. He has 30 days to decide. If he rejects the selection, the player-manager cannot be re-signed as a player during the following season.  

CUBS MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN DECEMBER 2014 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 10-16-2014):
Gilberto Abreu, RHP
Gioskar Amaya, INF
John Andreoli, OF
Delbis Arcila, OF
Jeffrey Baez, OF
Frank Batista, RHP
Zach Cates, RHP
Hunter Cervenka, LHP
Pin-Chieh Chen, OF
Gerardo Concepcion, LHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Willson Contreras, C
Blake Cooper, RHP
Wes Darvill, INF
Taylor Davis, C
Alberto Diaz, LHP
C. J. Edwards, RHP
Kevin Encarnacion, OF
P. J. Francescon, RHP
Victor Garcia, LHP
Dustin Geiger, INF
Anthony Giansanti, OF
Jae-Hoon Ha, OF
Marco Hernandez, INF
Michael Jensen, RHP
Austin Kirk, LHP
Matt Loosen, RHP
Jeff Lorick, LHP
Barret Loux, RHP
Dillon Maples, RHP
Andrew McKirahan, LHP
Trey McNutt, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Alberto Mineo, C
Yoanner Negrin, RHP
Carlos Penalver, INF
Felix Pena, RHP
Ivan Pineyro, RHP
Austin Reed, RHP
Tayler Scott, RHP
Rock Shoulders, 1B
Rubi Silva, OF
Brian Smith, LHP
Elliot Soto, INF
Antonio Valerio, C
Yao-Lin Wang, RHP
Ben Wells, RHP
Tony Zych, RHP

Additionally, any player eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 Six-Year Minor League Free-Agent (6YFA) post-2014 who signs a 2015 minor league contract or agrees to a 2015 minor league successor contract prior to the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection.

Also, any player eligible to be a Rule 55 Second Contract Minor League Free-Agent who signs a 2015 minor league contract prior to the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection if the player was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 5th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract, or the player was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract and it is at least the 4th Rule 5 Draft since he signed his first contract.  

CUBS MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS POST-2014:

SIX-YEAR FREE-AGENT:
Lars Anderson, 1B (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Jeffry Antigua, LHP 
Alberto Cabrera, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Marcelo Carreno, RHP
Lendy Castillo, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Hunter Cervenka, LHP (see NOTE)
Charlie Cutler, C
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Luis Flores, C
Edgar Gonzalez, INF (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Marcos Mateo, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Jonathon Mota, INF
Starling Peralta, RHP (Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later re-claimed by Cubs)
Carlos Pimentel, RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Jose Rosario, RHP
NOTE: Hunter Cervenka will be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA post-2014 if he signed a 2008 contract when he signed his "first contract" with the Boston Red Sox on 8-15-2008. However, if he was “Signed for Future Service“ (first contract was a 2009 contract), he will not be eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA until post-2015.

SECOND CONTRACT FREE-AGENT ELIGIBLE FOR 2014 RULE DRAFT
Humberto Garcia, INF (previously released by CHW)
Nate Maldonado, C (previously released by CHC) - see NOTE
Manny Ramirez, OF (previously released by TEX - Article XX-D player - can elect free-agency if drafted & then later reclaimed by Cubs)
Julio Sanchez, RHP (previously released by COL)
NOTE: Because he re-signed with the same MLB organization (Cubs) within one year after being released, Nate Maldonado would be eligible for selection only if he signs a 2015 minor league contract with the Cubs prior to the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft, but he would not be eligible for selection if he signs a 2015 minor league contract with a different MLB organization prior to the Rule 5 Draft. 

 

Rule 5 Draft Restrictions

1. A minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), traded to another organization, or transferred from one minor league reserve list to another within the same organization, starting with the filing of MLB & minor league reserve lists on November 20th up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

2. A player cannot be sent outright to the minors on the two days prior to the Rule 5 Draft and on the day of the Rule 5 Draft (through the conclusion of the draft).

3. A club must have as many slots open on its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) prior to the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players it selects in the Major League Phase, and an MLB club's AAA and AA affiliates must have as many slots open on their respective reserve lists prior to the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players the affiliate selects in the AAA and AA phases of the draft. There is no limit on the number of Rule 5 eligible players any one organization can lose.

4. A player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be placed on the drafting club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) immediately, and must be tendered a major league contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the day of the draft.

5. A player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft can be traded at any time, but the player cannot be released or sent to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then only if Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured and the player's former club declines to re-claim the player.

6. If a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft remains on an MLB Active List and/or MLB Disabled List(s) for the entire MLB regular season following selection & spends at least 90 days on an MLB Active List (25-man roster), Rule 5 restrictions are removed at the conclusion of the MLB regular season. (If time spent on an MLB Active List is less than 90 days in the season following selection, the player remains a Rule 5 player into the next season, and the player continues to be a Rule 5 player until he has spent 90 days total on an MLB Active List).

7. If a club decides not to keep a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 draft on its MLB 25-man Active List (and/or MLB DL), the player must be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, where any of the other 29 MLB clubs can claim the player for the $25,000 Rule 5 waiver price and assume the Rule 5 obligations.

8. If the Rule 5 player is not claimed off Outright Waivers, the player then must be offered back to the club from which he was drafted, and the player's former club can reclaim the player for $25,000, with the player being automatically outrighted to the Reserve List of the minor league club from which he was drafted. The club from which the player was drafted usually has 72 hours to decide whether to reclaim the player, but it has only 24 hours to decide if the player is eligible to be an Article XX-D Free-Agent if outrighted to the minors (player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career).

9. If a Rule 5 player is returned (outrighted) to the minor league club from which he was drafted, the drafting club is responsible for any portion of the player's salary above what the player was paid the previous season.

10. If a Rule 5 Player is returned (outrighted) to the minor league club from which he was drafted, and if the player has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time, qualifies for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and/or has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career, the player can elect to be an MLB Article XX-D minor league free-agent after being outrighted (he has three days to decide), or he can accept the Outright Assignment and defer the right to be a minor league free-agent until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. (An outrighted "Super Two" Rule 5 player who has not previously been outrighted to the minors can elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors, but he cannot defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season).

11. If the club from which the player was drafted declines to reclaim the player, the Rule 5 restrictions are removed, the drafting club retains the player, and the player can be sent to the minors or released.

12. A player selected in the AAA or AA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be assigned to the Reserve List of the AAA or AA club that drafted the player, but the player can be assigned to the Active List of any minor league affiliate in the MLB club's organization once the minor league regular season commences. Also, unlike players selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, a player selected in the AAA or AA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft does not have to be offered back to the club from which he was drafted if the player is ultimately assigned to the Active List of a minor league affiliate below the level of the minor league affiliate that drafted the player.

13. A club can select a player off the reserve list of one of its own minor league affiliates, but if the player is selected in the Major League Phase, the club is bound by the same Rule 5 roster restrictions as if it had selected the player off the reserve list of another club's minor league affiliate.

14. A player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "covered up" from selection, either by agreement between two clubs or by effect. Also, a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "hidden" on a Disabled List to help the drafting club fulfill Rule 5 roster obligations. If the MLB Commissioner believes a club "covered up" a player to avoid losing the player in the Rule Draft or "hid" a selected player on a Disabled List, the offending club or clubs are subject to a penalty (TBD by the MLB Commissioner).


 

Draft-Excluded Player

A "Draft-Excluded Player" is any minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft whose contract is selected and who is added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) between August 15th and the Rule 5 Draft.

While a "Draft-Excluded Player" can be non-tendered on 12/2 and released or traded at any time, he cannot be sent to the minors by Optional Assignment beginning with the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day. Also, a "Draft-Excluded Player" can be outrighted to the minors only if Outright Assignment Waivers are requested no later than 2 PM (Eastern) on the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series, and if a "Draft-Excluded Player" is not outrighted to the minors prior to the Rule 5 Draft, the player cannot be sent outright to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to the start of the MLB regular season. 

CUBS WITH DRAFT-EXCLUDED STATUS POST-2014
 (last updated 9-3-2014)
Eric Jokisch, LHP
Ryan Kalish, OF
Rafael Lopez, C