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 2019 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 8-8-2019 )
Jose Albertos, RHP 
Miguel Amaya, C 
Javier Assad, RHP 
Jhonny Bethencourt, INF 
Casey Bloomquist, RHP
Andres Bonalde, LHP  
Craig Brooks, RHP 
Jesus Camargo, RHP
Faustino Carrera, LHP 
Bailey Clark, RHP
Alfredo Colorado, RHP
Yovanny Cuevas, OF 
Zach Davis, OF
Donnie Dewees, OF 
Scott Effross, RHP 
Emilio Ferrebus, RHP 
Wladimir Galindo, 3B-1B
Trent Giambrone, IF-OF
Eric Gonzalez, C 
Fauris Guerrero, RHP 
Zach Hedges, RHP  
P. J. Higgins, C-INF
Chad Hockin, RHP 
Bryan Hudson, LHP  
Ryan Kellogg, LHP 
Conor Lillis-White, LHP 
Rafelin Lorenzo, C 
Vimael Machin, INF 
Eddy Julio Martinez, OF 
Marcus Mastrobuoni, C
Ivan Medina, RHP
Fidel Mejia, INF 
Dakota Mekkes, RHP
Tyson Miller, RHP  
M. T. Minacci, RHP
Jordan Minch, LHP 
Kevonte Mitchell, OF
Erling Moreno, RHP
Connor Myers, OF 
Tommy Nance, RHP 
Rafael Narea, INF 
Richard Nunez, C-1B
Eugenio Palma, LHP  
Tyler Payne, C
Raymond Pena, C 
Tyler Peyton, RHP
Gustavo Polanco, C-1B   
Eury Ramos, RHP 
Ian Rice, C-1B 
Duncan Robinson, RHP 
Abraham Rodriguez, OF-1B  
Manuel Rodriguez, RHP 
Aneuris Rosario, RHP 
Michael Rucker, RHP 
Carlos Sepulveda, INF
Wyatt Short, LHP 
Zack Short, INF  
Jake Stinnett, RHP
Matt Swarmer, RHP 
Alexander Vargas, RHP
Jerry Vasto, LHP (Article XX-D player)
Omar Ventura, RHP 
D. J. Wilson, OF 
Delvin Zinn, INF 
 
Additionally, a free-agent who signs a 2020 minor league contract prior to the 2019 Rule 5 Draft or a minor league player who is eligible to be a minor league free-agent post-2020 but who signs a minor league successor contract prior to becoming a free-agent will be eligible for selection in the 2019 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.

ARTICLE XX-D or ARTICLE XIX-A MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT POST-2019
Jim Adduci, OF (Article XX-D player)


MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT POST-2019

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS
Gioskar Amaya, INF
Yasiel Balaguert, OF (serving as a COACH with AZL Cubs #1)
Corey Black, RHP
Charcer Burks, OF
Roberto Caro, OF
Erick Castillo, C
Trevor Clifton, RHP
Oscar de la Cruz, RHP (Article XX-D player)
Enrique de los Rios, RHP
Phillip Evans, INF (Article XX-D player) 
Johnny Field, OF (Article XX-D player)  
Luke Hagerty, LHP (Article XX-D player) 
Chih-Wei Hu, RHP (Article XX-D player)
Danny Hultzen, LHP (Article XX-D player)
Erick Leal, RHP
Luis Lugo, LHP 
Dixon Machado, INF 
Jhonny Pereda, C
Chris Pieters, OF (serving as a COACH with AZL Cubs #2)
Colin Rea, RHP 
Will Remillard, C (serving as a COACH with AA Tennessee) 
Manuel Rondon, LHP 
Alex Wilson, RHP (Article XIX-A player)

SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS (see NOTES below):
Marcos Encarnacion, RHP (previously released by CIN) 
Julio Guante, RHP (previously released by DET)
Garrett Kelly, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Ryan Lawlor, LHP (previously released by ATL)
John Pomeroy, RHP (previously released by PIT)
Willians Vasquez, RHP (previously released by ATL)
Danny Zardon, C-INF (previously released by PHI)
NOTE-1:
With mutual consent (player & club), a second-contract minor league player who has accrued fewer than seven minor league seasons can be signed to a multi-year minor league contract with club control extending up through the player's seventh minor league season. So it is possible that one or more of the Cubs minor league second contract players are signed beyond the 2019 season (TBD).
NOTE-2: RHP Donato Auguste (previously released by KC), RHP Aneudis Beard (previously released by TEX), RHP Rodrigo Garcia (previously released by NYY), LHP Anderson Parra (previously released by PHI), LHP Jorge Ramirez (previously released by TEX), and C Juan Vasquez (previously released by SD) are second-contract minor league players so any or all of the five might or might not be minor league FA post-2019 (see NOTE-1 above), but they are not eligible for selection in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft if signed beyond 2019.


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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 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 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 12-14-2017):
NONE AT THIS TIME

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE OF 2018 RULE 5 DRAFT (updated 12-13-2018)
NONE 

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.

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 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. (An outrighted Selected Player with "Super Two" rights 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).  

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 12-13-2018): 
Luis Lugo, LHP (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa from Kansas City Royals AA Northwest Arkanas reserve list) 
Rafelin Lorenzo, C (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa from Pittsburgh Pirates AA Altoona reserve list) 
Alexander Vargas, RHP (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa from New York Yankees Lo-A Charleston reserve list) 

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN AAA PHASE OF 2018 RULE 5 DRAFT (updated 12-13-2018): 
David Garner, RHP (selected by New York Mets for AAA Syracuse affiliate from AA Tennessee reserve list)
Yapson Gomez, LHP (selected by Cleveland Indians AAA Columbus affiliate from AA Tennessee 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.

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 Designated for Assignment or sent outright to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to the start of the MLB regular season.

CUBS PLAYERS WITH POST-2019 RULE 6 DRAFT-EXCLUDED STATUS: (last updated 3-8-2019)
NONE