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.
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.

CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR SELECTION IN 2021 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 12-17-2021): 
Jose Albertos, RHP 
Edmond Americaan, OF
D. J. Artis, OF
Javier Assad, RHP 
Cam Balego, C-INF
Aneudis Beard, RHP (second-contract player signed for 2022)
Andres Bonalde, LHP (on Restricted List)
James Bourque, RHP (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 successor contract)
Craig Brooks, RHP (on Restricted List)
Jesus Camargo, RHP (on Restricted List)
Derek Casey, RHP
Erick Castillo, C (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 successor contract)  
Danis Correa, RHP
Narciso Crook, OF (post-2021 FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Yovanny Cruz, RHP 
Zach Davis, OF
Luis Devers, RHP
Donnie Dewees, OF (signed 2022 successor contract)
Christian Donahue, INF 
Tyler Durna, 1B
Manuel Espinoza, RHP 
Jeremiah Estrada, RHP
Miguel Fabrizio, C 
Kelvin Feliz, RHP
Edwin Figuera, INF (second contract player signed for 2022)
Reivaj Garcia, INF
Trent Giambrone, INF
Stephen Gonsalves, LHP (Article XX-D player - post-2021 FA - signed 2022 minor league contract) 
Jose Miguel Gonzalez, RHP 
Ben Hecht, RHP 
P. J. Higgins, C-INF (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Jonathan Holder, RHP (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Ben Holmes, LHP (signed 2022 successor contract)
Bryan Hudson, LHP
Brandon Hughes, LHP (ex-OF) 
Josue Huma, INF
Gabriel Jaramillo, RHP  
Levi Jordan, INF
Caleb Knight, C 
Austin Krzeminski, RHP (second contract player signed for 2022)
Mark Leiter Jr, RHP (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Brendon Little, LHP 
Dixon Machado, INF (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Dakota Mekkes, RHP
Connor Menez, LHP (Article XX-D player - selected in AAA Phase of 2021 Rule 5 Draft)
Eduarniel Nunez, RHP 
Nichollas Padilla, RHP (signed 2022 successor contract) 
Jack Patterson, LHP 
Tyler Payne, C (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 successor contract)
C. D. Pelham, LHP (Article XX-D player - signed 2022 successor contract)
Raymond Pena (signed 2022 successor contract)
Yonathan Perlaza, OF(ex-INF)  
Fabian Pertuz, INF 
Eury Ramos, RHP (signed 2022 successor contract)
Jake Reindl, RHP 
Peyton Remy, RHP 
Samuel Reyes, RHP 
Benjamin Rodriguez, RHP 
Luis Angel Rodriguez, LHP
Aneuris Rosario, RHP (signed 2022 successor contract)
Cam Sanders, RHP 
Yeison Santana, INF
Carlos Sepulveda, INF (second contract player signed for 2022) 
Wyatt Short, LHP 
Locke St. John, LHP (Article XX-D player - post-2021 FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Jonathan Sierra, OF
Jake Slaughter, INF-OF 
Tyler Suellentrop, RHP (second contract player signed for 2022)
Tim Susnara, C (second contract player signed for 2022)
Matt Swarmer, RHP 
Riley Thompson, RHP 
Erich Uelmen, RHP 
Dauris Valdez, RHP
Didier Vargas, LHP
Ildemaro Vargas, INF (Article XX player - post-2021 FA - signed 2022 minor league contract)
Luis Vazquez, INF 
Luis Verdugo, INF
Andy Weber, INF 
Harrison Wenson, C (second contract player signed for 2022)
Blake Whitney, RHP 
Jared Young, 1B-OF 
Delvin Zinn, INF 

Additionally, any player sent outright to the minors prior to the 2021 Rule 5 Draft and any free-agent who signs a 2022 minor league contract prior to the 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.

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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, 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).

Recent comments

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  • CubsCentral08 21 hours 36 min ago (view)

    List is up to 12 now

    Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama
    Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic
    Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic
    Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
    Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela
    Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
    Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
    Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
    Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic
    Freylin Silverio, RHP, Dominican Republic
    Sandy Sanchez, SS, Dominican Republic
    Darlin de Leon, SS, Dominican Republic

     

  • Wrigley Rat 22 hours 44 min ago (view)

    In addition to those signed today, it's worth noting that seven players were signed to future-service contracts during the last international free agent signing period, and are expected to make their system-debut this coming season (most likely in the Dominican Republic). Those players are:

    • RHP - Luis Angel Reyes
    • LHP - Kevin Valdez
    • RHP - Jensi Ramirez
    • RHP - Yafrerlyn Vasquez
    • RHP - Eligio Paredes
    • RHP - Jair Jimenez
    • OF - Edward Vargas

     

     

  • Wrigley Rat 22 hours 44 min ago (view)

    The Cubs added four more International Free Agents so far today:

    • Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
    • Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic

     

     

  • Wrigley Rat 22 hours 46 min ago (view)

    Sneak peak into the International Free Agent Signings that officially start tomorrow (Saturday):

    Chicago Cubs ($5,179,700 total bonus pool) - 5 Signings (so far):

    • Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama ($1,500,000 bonus)
    • Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,300,000 bonus)
    • Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,000,000 bonus)
    • Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela

     

     

  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    wsox snagging cuban oscar colas...23 year old high end power prospect that could slot into the majors quickly.

    they're building a hell of a batting core on the south side of town.

     

  • Cubster 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Jon Lester retires. Definitely one of the key people in their Theo era run. 

     

  • crunch 4 days 19 hours ago (view)

    meeting on thursday.  hopefully this stuff can get done before going too deep into february.

     

  • crunch 6 days 19 hours ago (view)

    yanks low-A naming rachel balkovec as manager.  first female manager in the minors.

    she was also the first female strength/conditioning coach and hitting coach in rookie leagues for the yanks.

     

  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    "Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball is preparing new economic proposals to present to the MLBPA, "likely this month.""

     

  • tim815 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    As best as I understand, there are the 4 full-season levels with only one affiliate per organization at each level, and the compound league. Toss in the DSL, and that's it. If a team wants and can accommodate a second (or third) Compound League team, that's a decision for "later than January".

     

  • Wrigley Rat 1 week 5 days ago (view)

    AZ Phil or others - Are major league teams allowed to announce new minor league affiliates for 2022 during this lockout? I ask because there was some discussion about possibly adding a short season league team for next year. Are clubs even allowed to have a 5th non-rookie league team? With all the players jammed up at the A level, it seems like it would be smart to add an additional team for them and this year's incoming draft picks. Of course, they could always just keep two Arizona teams going and it would probably be just fine. Just wondering - thanks and Happy New Year!

     

  • crunch 1 week 5 days ago (view)

    cameron maybin is retiring, which saves the cubs from once again obtaining or attempting to obtain cameron maybin.

    2022 looking good so far.

     

  • Cubster 2 weeks 1 day ago (view)

    Welcome to 2022. 
    First news of the year: The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have reached a deal with Tyler Chatwalk! Hope they have a bigger strike zone there.

     

  • Cubster 2 weeks 2 days ago (view)

    Thanks Phil. Great reply as always. Have a happy and healthy New Year (everyone, but especially AZ Phil)!

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 weeks 2 days ago (view)

    Kyle Seager is a post-2021 Article XX-B free-agent who is not under the control of an MLB club, so his announcing his retirement is no different than announcing he and his family are going out to dinner tomorrow night or taking a trip to Hawaii next month.  

    The only time a player "files for retirement" and is placed on a club's Voluntary Retired List is if he is signed, or unsigned but under the control of a club. 

     

  • crunch 2 weeks 2 days ago (view)

    retirement in MLB is an official paperwork process so it might be a frozen issue for filing.  technically there is still work being done like business worked on but not completed before the lockout, as well as other business both sides agree isn't an issue.  dunno if they're processing retirement paperwork.

    seager hit 35 homers last year and could, at the very least, platoon with someone while still earning decent loot.

    that said, he's in his mid-30s and made 100m at his job.  plus, covid-era baseball just isn't fun even if you toss the health issues aside.