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.
NOTE: The Major League Phase of the 2021 MLB Rule 5 Draft was cancelled
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.
NOTE: The Cubs will have the #7 slot in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft.
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 9 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.
At present, 83 Cubs minor leaguers are eligible for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 draft. A maximum of 38 players can be placed on the AAA reserve list on November 19th and be eligible for selection in the Major League Phase only, and in practice most clubs leave three or more slots open on their AAA reserve list when rosters are filed on 11/19 for free-agents who sign a minor league contract and players who are sent outright to AAA prior the Rule 5 Draft, and to provide AAA roster slots for players who might be selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
NOTE: If not added to the MLB 40-man roster, the players underlined and in bold green below will likely be placed on the 38-man AAA Iowa reserve list on 11/18 so that they will be eligible for selection only in the Major League Phase of the 2022 Rule 5 Draft.
CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN 2022 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 5-10-2022):
Kevin Alcantara, OF
Pablo Aliendo, C
Elian Almanzar, RHP
D. J. Artis, OF
Cam Balego, C-INF
Bryce Ball, 1B
Flemin Bautista, INF
Hunter Bigge, RHP
Josh Burgmann, RHP
Grayson Byrd, 1B
Derek Casey, RHP
Chris Clarke, RHP
Danis Correa, RHP
Yovanny Cruz, RHP
Brennen Davis, OF
Greg Deichmann, OF (Article XX-D player)
Bradford Deppermann, RHP
Christian Donahue, INF
Luis Devers, RHP
Manuel Espinoza, RHP
Jeremiah Estrada, RHP
Miguel Fabrizio, C-1B
Kelvin Feliz, RHP
Kohl Franklin, RHP
Richard Gallardo, RHP
Reivaj Garcia, INF
Jose Miguel Gonzalez, RHP
Ben Hecht, RHP
Darius Hill, OF
Brandon Hughes, LHP
Josue Huma, INF
Gabriel Jaramillo, RHP
Ryan Jensen, RHP
Tanner Jesson-Dalton, RHP
Levi Jordan, INF
Chris Kachmar, RHP
Caleb Kilian, RHP
Bryan King, LHP
Caleb Knight, C
Adam Laskey, LHP
Brendon Little, LHP
Joel Machado, LHP
Nelson Maldonado, 1B
Luis Marte, RHP
Michael McAvene, RHP
Juan Mora, INF
Rafael Morel, INF
Carlos Morfa, OF
Joe Nahas, RHP
Eduarniel Nunez, RHP
Miguel Pabon, INF
Ezequiel Pagan, OF
Jack Patterson, LHP
Fabian Pertuz, INF
Yohendrick Pinango, OF
Malcom Quintero, C
Jake Reindl, RHP
Peyton Remy, RHP
Samuel Reyes, RHP
Luis Angel Rodriguez, LHP
Cole Roederer, OF
Cam Sanders, RHP
Yeison Santana, INF
Jake Slaughter, INF
Alberto Sojo, RHP
Chase Strumpf, INF
Riley Thompson, RHP
Cayne Ueckert, RHP
Erick Uelmen, RHP
Didier Vargas, LHP
Luis Vazquez, INF
Luis Verdugo, INF
Jake Washer, C
Andy Weber, INF
Blake Whitney, RHP
Bryce Windham, C-INF
Jared Young, 1B-OF
Additionally, a free-agent who signs a 2023 minor league contract prior to the 2022 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 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.
MLB RULE 9 FREE-AGENT POST-2022 WORLD SERIES
SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS:
Jose Albertos, RHP
Javier Assad, RHP
James Bourque, RHP (Article XX-D player)
Steven Brault, LHP (Article XX-D player)
Craig Brooks, RHP
Jesus Camargo, RHP
Erick Castillo, C (Article XX-D player)
Narciso Crook, OF
Zach Davis, OF
Matt Dermody, LHP (Article XX-D player)
Donnie Dewees, OF
Luke Farrell, RHP (Article XX-D player)
Edwin Figuera, INF
Robel Garcia, INF (Article XX-D player - no minor league optione left if added to the 40)
Trent Giambrone, INF-OF (Article XX-D player)
Stephen Gonsalves, LHP (Article XX-D player - no minor league options left if added to the 40)
John Hicks, C-1B (Article XX-D player - no minor league options left if added to the 40)
P. J. Higgins, C-INF (Article XX-D player)
Jonathan Holder, RHP (Article XX-D player)
Ben Holmes, LHP (Article XX-D player)
Bryan Hudson, LHP
Brandon Leibrandt, LHP (Article XX-D player)
Dixon Machado, INF (Article XX-D player - no minor league options left if added to the 40)
Dakota Mekkes, RHP
Nicholas Padilla, RHP
Tyler Payne, C (Article XX-D player)
C. D. Pelham, LHP (Article XX-D player)
Yonathan Perlaza, OF
Eury Ramos, RHP
Aneuris Rosario, RHP
Carlos Sepulveda, INF
Wyatt Short, LHP
Jonathan Sierra, OF
Eric Stout, LHP (Article XX-D player)
Matt Swarmer, RHP
Dauris Valdez, RHP
Delvin Zinn, INF
NOTE: Article XX-D means players can elect free-agency if sent outright to minors, and Article XIX-A means player must give his consent before he can be sent to minors by optional or outright assignment.
SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS (see NOTEbelow)
Michael Arias, INF / RHP (previously released by TOR)
Andres Bonalde, LHP (previously released by CUBS)
Kyle Johnson, RHP (previously released by NYY)
Dalton Stambaugh, LHP (previously released by BAL)
Tim Susnara, C (previously released by AZ)
Harrison Wenson, C (previously released by LAA)
NOTE: 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 2022 season (TBD).
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, beginning with the filing of MLB 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) and extending through the completion 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).