MLB Rule 5 Draft

The MLB Rule 5 Draft is held on the 2nd Thursday in December and is presently the last order of business at the MLB WINTER MEETINGS. 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 (any minor league classification) for $100,000 ("Major League Phase" Rule 5 Draft price increased from $50,000 to $100,000 beginning with the December 2016 draft), and 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 (below AAA) for $24,000 (Rule 5 "AAA Phase" draft price increased from $12,000 to $24,000 beginning with the December 2016 draft). 
NOTE: Effective December 2016, the "AA Phase" (where a club's AA minor league affiliate could select Rule 5 Draft-eligible players off the reserve lists of minor league clubs of a classification below AA for $4,000) has been eliminated.

There is no limit on the number of rounds in each phase (there could be one, there could be three, there could be five or more). As long as at least one club is still selecting players, the phase will continue, but as soon as all 30 teams have a full reserve list (so that clubs can no longer make selections) or have passed, the phase is over.

There is no limit on the number of Rule 5 Draft-eligible players any one organization can lose in a Rule 5 Draft.

Rule 5 Draft order is based upon the inverse order of winning percentages from the previous season. If the winning percentages of two or more clubs are the same, the club with the lowest winning percentage from the previous season picks first. If two or more clubs are still tied, league standings from two years back (or three years back, four years back, etc) are used to break the tie.


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 following his first qualified season, 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 following his first qualified season.

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 (even if he signs prior to the Rule 5 Draft), the next season is considered to be the player's "first qualified season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes. (Depending on the minor league, the conclusion of a minor league club's season could be as early as the first week of August, or as late as the second week of September).

3. A player eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent who signs a minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent and 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.

5. Any player on a minor league reserve list who has been outrighted to the minors previously in his career is eligible for selection.

6. A player on the Voluntary Retired List, Disqualified List, or Ineligible List is not eligible for selection.

7. An MLB club can designate any player on a minor league reserve list "eligible for selection" in a Rule 5 Draft even if the player would not normally be eligible, but once a player is designated "eligible for selection," he remains eligible for selection in all subsequent Rule 5 drafts.
NOTE: A club might do this if the club is planning to release the player during the off-season. 

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 and retire. He has 30 days to decide. If he rejects the selection and opts to retire as a player, the player-manager is ineligible to be reinstated as a player for a minimum of one year.  
 

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN 2020 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 11-20-2020)
Aramis Ademan, INF 
Maikel Aguiar, RHP 
Jose Albertos, RHP 
Javier Assad, RHP 
Abiatal Avelino, INF (Article XX-D player) - signed 2021 minor league contract 
Cam Balego, C-INF
Craig Brooks, RHP 
Rex Brothers, LHP (Article XX-D player) -signed 2021 minor league successor contract 
Jesus Camargo, RHP
Bailey Clark, RHP
Danis Correa, RHP 
Yovanny Cuevas, OF 
Zach Davis, OF
Donnie Dewees, OF
Christian Donahue, INF 
Scott Effross, RHP 
Juan Gamez (second-contract FA) - signed 2021 minor league contract
Trent Giambrone, IF-OF
Tyler Gushue, C - post-2020 minor league 6YFA - signed 2021 minor league contract
Jose Gutierrez, OF 
Ben Hecht, RHP 
Ferrol Heredia, LHP 
P. J. Higgins, C-INF
Bryan Hudson, LHP  
Brandon Hughes, LHP (ex-OF) 
Jake Jewell, RHP (Article XX-D player) - post-2020 minor league 6YFA - signed 2021 minor league contract
Ryan Kellogg, LHP 
Fernando Kelli, OF 
Garrett Kelly, RHP - second-contract player 
Ryan Lawlor, LHP - second-contract player 
Brendon Little, LHP 
Luis Lugo, LHP - signed 2021 minor league successor contract 
Eddy Julio Martinez, OF 
Hector Matos, RHP (Restricted List)
Trevor Megill, RHP (Article XX-D player)
Fidel Mejia, INF 
Dakota Mekkes, RHP
Ian Miller, OF (Article XX-D player) - post-2020 Article XX-D minor league FA - signed 2021 minor league contract 
Connor Myers, OF 
Tommy Nance, RHP 
Carlos Ocampo, RHP 
Rafael Ortega, OF (Article XX-D player) - post-2020 minor league 6YFA - signed 2021 minor league contract
Josh Osich, LHP (Article XX-D player) - signed 2021 minor leahuie successor contract 
Jeffrey Passantino, RHP 
Tyler Payne, C
C. D. Pelham, LHP (Article XX-D player) 
Raymond Pena, C
Henderson Perez, C 
Hernan Perez (Article XX-D player) - signed 2021 minor league successor contrasct 
Yunior Perez, RHP 
Yonathan Perlaza, INF 
Gustavo Polanco, C-1B   
Eury Ramos, RHP 
Peyton Remy, RHP 
Duncan Robinson, RHP 
Aneuris Rosario, RHP 
Michael Rucker, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
Wyatt Short, LHP 
Jonathan Sierra, OF
D. J. Snelten, LHP (Article XX-D player) - signed 2021 minor league contract 
Jerrick Suiter, RHP (ex-1B) - signed 2021 minor league successor contract
Matt Swarmer, RHP 
Erich Uelmen, RHP 
Didier Vargas, LHP 
Juan Vasquez, C - second contract player 
Jerry Vasto, LHP - (Article XX-D player) - post-2020 minor league 6YFA - signed 2021 minor league contract
Vance Vizcaino, OF - second contract player 
Joe Wieland, RHP (Article XX-D player) - signed 2021 minor league successor contract - 
D. J. Wilson, OF 
Jared Young, 1B-OF 
Delvin Zinn, INF 

Additionally, a free-agent who signs a 2021 minor league contract prior to the 2020 Rule 5 Draft will be eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft 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 following his first qualified season, 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 following his first qualified season.


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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 minor league reserve lists on November 20th (or November 19th if November 20th falls on a Saturday or November 18th if November 20th falls on a Sunday) up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

2. A Rule 5 Draft-eligible player cannot be sent outright to the minors beginning at 5 PM (Eastern) on the third day prior to 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 start of the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players it selects in the Major League Phase, and an MLB club's AAA affiliate must have as many slots open on its reserve list prior to the start of the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft as the number of players the affiliate selects in the AAA Phase. 

4. 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.
NOTE: This actually happened at least once a number of years ago, after a club (Atlanta Braves) inadvertently left one of its top prospects off its MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) when minor league reserve lists were submitted to the MLB Commissioner on November 20th.

5. 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 (such as by concocting a phony injury and placing the player on an Injured List in an attempt to decrease a player's value when the player is not really injured). Also, a player selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft cannot be "hidden" on an Injured List to help the drafting club fulfill Rule 5 roster obligations (such as by leaving the player on the Injured List after he is healthy enough to play). 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 an Injured List, the offending club or clubs are subject to a penalty (TBD by the MLB Commissioner).

MLB Rule 6: Selected Player & Draft-Excluded Player

MLB RULE 6: SELECTED PLAYER

A "Selected Player" is any player selected in the Major League Phase of the MLB Rule 5 Draft. 

MLB RULE 6 SELECTED PLAYERS ON CUBS MLB RESERVE LIST (updated 7-17-2020):
Trevor Megill, RHP (selected by Cubs from San Diego Padres AAA El Paso affiliate's reserve list)
NOTE: The Cubs sent Megill outright to AAA Iowa on 7/17 after Outright Assignment Waivers were secured and the Padres declined to re-claim him (the Cubs sent a cash payment to the Padres).    

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2018 RULE 5 DRAFT (updated 3-6-2020)
1. Vimael Machin, INF (selected by Philadelhia Phillies from Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate's reserve list) 
NOTE: Machin was subsequently traded to the Oakland Athletics)
2. Michael Rucker, RHP (selected by Baltimore Orioles from Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate's reserve list) 
NOTE: Rucker was re-claimed by the Cubs and was assigned outright to AAA Iowa on 3/6 

1. A Selected Player must be placed on the drafting club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) immediately after selection and must be tendered a major league contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the day of the draft.

2. A Selected Player can be traded at any time, but the player cannot be Designated for Assignment, 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 reclaim the player.

3. If a Selected Player spends at least 90 days on an MLB Active List during the MLB regular season following selection, the player ceases to be a "Selected Player" 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 6 Selected Player into the next season, and the player continues to be a Selected Player until he has spent 90 days total on an MLB Active List.
CoViD-19 EXCEPTION: If a Selected Player spends at least 50 days on an MLB Active List during the 2020 MLB regular season, the player ceases to be a "Selected Player" at the conclusion of the 2020 MLB regular season. If time spent on an MLB Active List in 2020 is less than 50 days, the player remains a Rule 6 Selected Player into the next season, and the player continues to be a Selected Player until he has spent 50 days total on an MLB Active List.

4. If a club wishes to send a Selected Player to the minors, the player must be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers, where any of the other 29 MLB clubs can claim the player for the $50,000 Rule 6 waiver price (formerly $25,000), and if claimed off waivers, the player continues to have Rule 6 Selected Player status.

5. If the Selected Player is not claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers, the player then must be offered back to the club from which he was drafted, and the player's former club can re-claim the player for $50,000 (formerly $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 re-claim the player, but it has only 24 hours to decide if the player is eligible to be an Article XX-D or Article XIX-A minor league 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). NOTE: A Selected Player with Article XIX-A rights (player has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time) cannot be re-claimed and outrighted back to the minor league club from which he was drafted unless the player consents in advance to the assignment.

6. If a Selected 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 (or Article XIX-A minor league free-agent if the player has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time) 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.   

7. If a Selected 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.

8. If the club from which the Selected Player was drafted declines to re-claim the player, the player no longer has Rule 6 Selected Player status, the drafting club retains the player, and the player can be sent to the minors or released.

9. A player selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft must be assigned to the Reserve List of the AAA club that drafted the player and he must be given a 15-day trial during Spring Training with that club, 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 Phase 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 AAA.

PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN AAA PHASE OF 2018 RULE 5 DRAFT (updated 12-12-2019): 
Brock Stewart, RHP (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa from Toronto Blue Jays AA New Hampshire affiliate's reserve list) 
Jerrick Suiter, 1B (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa from Pittsburgh Pirates AA Altoona affiliate's reserve list) 
Vance Vizcaino, OF (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa from Colorado Rockies AA Hartford affiliate's reserve list) 
David Masters, INF (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa from Washington Nationals AA Harrisburg affiliate's reserve list)

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN AAA PHASE OF 2018 RULE 5 DRAFT (updated 12-12-2019): 
Faustino Carrera, LHP (selected by Tampa Bay Rays for AAA Durham from Cubs AA Tennessee affiliate's reserve list)
Carlos Sepulveda, INF (selected by Los Angeles Dodgers for AAA Oklahoma City from Cubs AA Tennessee affiliate's reserve list)

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MLB RULE 6: DRAFT -EXCLUDED PLAYER

A "Draft-Excluded Player" is any minor league player who has accrued less than three years of MLB Service Time and who is eligible for selection in the MLB 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.
CoViD-19 EXCEPTION: A "Draft-Excluded Player" is any minor league player who has accrued less than three years of MLB Service Time and who is eligible for selection in the 2020 MLB Rule 5 Draft, whose contract is selected, and who is added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) between August 31, 2020, and the 2020 MLB Rule 5 Draft.

1. A Draft-Excluded Player can be non-tendered on 12/2, released, or traded at any time, but 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.

2. A Draft-Excluded Player can be sent outright to the minors only if Outright Assignment Waivers are requested no later than 2 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the final game 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 PLAYERS WITH POST-2020 RULE 6 DRAFT-EXCLUDED STATUS: (last updated 11-20-2020)
Cory Abbott, RHP 
Brailyn Marquez, LHP 
Christopher Morel, INF 
Keegan Thompson, RHP