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 2021 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 3-2-2021)
Aramis Ademan, INF 
Maikel Aguiar, RHP 
Jose Albertos, RHP 
Chris Allen, LHP 
Edmond Americaan, OF
D. J. Artis, OF
Javier Assad, RHP 
Cam Balego, C-INF
Willy Cabrera, RHP 
Alejandro Carrillo, LHP 
Derek Casey, RHP 
Bailey Clark, RHP
Danis Correa, RHP
Rochest Cruz, INF 
Yovanny Cruz, RHP 
Zach Davis, OF
Luis Devers, RHP 
Christian Donahue, INF 
Tyler Durna, 1B
Manuel Espinoza, RHP 
Jeremiah Estrada, RHP
Miguel Fabrizio, C 
Kelvin Feliz, RHP
Misael Garcia, LHP 
Reivaj Garcia, INF
Trent Giambrone, IF-OF
Edmar Gonzalez, RHP 
Jose Gutierrez, OF 
Ben Hecht, RHP 
Brandon Hughes, LHP (ex-OF) 
Josue Huma, INF
Gabriel Jaramillo, RHP  
Widimer Joaquin, INF
Levi Jordan, INF
Caleb Knight, C 
Brendon Little, LHP 
Eddy Julio Martinez, OF 
Trevor Megill, RHP (Article XX-D player)
Dakota Mekkes, RHP
Connor Myers, OF 
Tommy Nance, RHP 
Eduarniel; Nunez, RHP 
Carlos Ocampo, RHP 
Carlos Pacheco, OF 
Jack Patterson, LHP 
Carlos Paula, RHP 
Brailin Pena, OF
Henderson Perez, C 
Yonathan Perlaza, INF 
Fabian Pertuz, INF 
Oswaldo Pina, INF
Jake Reindl, RHP 
Jorge Remon, RHP 
Peyton Remy, RHP 
Samuel Reyes, RHP 
Alfonso Rivas, 1B-OF 
Ethan Roberts, RHP 
Duncan Robinson, RHP 
Benjamin Rodriguez, RHP 
Jonathan Rodriguez, OF 
Luis Rodriguez, LHP 
Michael Rucker, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
Cam Sanders, RHP 
Yeison Santana, INF 
Wyatt Short, LHP 
Jonathan Sierra, OF
Jake Slaughter, INF-OF 
Jonathan Soto, C 
Matt Swarmer, RHP 
Riley Thompson, RHP 
Erich Uelmen, RHP 
Didier Vargas, LHP 
Luis Vazquez, INF 
Nelson Velazquez, OF 
Luis Verdugo, INF
Andy Weber, INF 
Blake Whitney, RHP 
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.
 

MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT POST-2021 WORLD SERIES

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS
Sergio Alcantara, INF (Article XX-D player) 
Abiatal Avelino, INF (Article XX-D player)
Joe Biagini, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
James Bourque, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
Craig Brooks, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Rex Brothers, LHP (Article XX-D player) 
Jesus Camargo, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Yovanny Cuevas, OF (see NOTE-2)
Donnie Dewees, OF (see NOTE-2)
Matt Duffy, INF (Article XIX-A player) 
Scott Effross, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Taylor Gushue, C
Michael Hermosillo, OF (Article XX-D player)
P. J. Higgins, C-INF (see NOTE-2)
Ben Holmes, LHP 
Bryan Hudson, LHP (see NOTE-2)
Jake Jewell, RHP (Article XX-D player)
Trevor Kelley, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
Ryan Kellogg, LHP (see NOTE-2)
Ryan Lawlor, LHP (see NOTE-2)
Jose Lobaton, C (Article XIX-A player) 
Luis Lugo, LHP 
Nick Martini, OF (Article XX-D player) 
Cameron Maybin, OF (Article XIX-A player)
Fidel Mejia, INF (see NOTE-2)
Ian Miller, OF (Article XX-D player)
Shelby Miller, RHP (Article XIX-A player)
Jose Moreno, RHP 
Adam Morgan, LHP (Article XIX-A player) 
Rafael Ortega, OF (Article XX-D player)
Nicholas Padilla, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Tyler Payne, C (see NOTE-2)
C. D. Pelham, LHP (Article XX-D player - see NOTE-2
Raymond Pena, C (see NOTE-2)
Gustavo Polanco, C-1B (see NOTE-2)
Eury Ramos, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Aneuris Rosario, RHP (see NOTE-2)
D. J. Snelten, LHP  (Article XX-D player)
Robert Stock, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
Pedro Strop, RHP (Artticle XIX-A player) 
Jerrick Suiter, RHP (ex-1B)_
Jerry Vasto, LHP (Article XX-D player)
Joe Wieland, RHP (Article XX-D player)
D. J. Wilson, OF (see NOTE-2)
Patrick Wisdom, 1B-3B (Article XX-D player) 
NOTE-1: 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. 
NOTE-2: Brooks, Camargo, Cuevas, Dewees, Effross, Higgins Hudson, Kellogg, Lawlor, F. Mejia, Padilla, Payne, Pelham, R. Pena, Polanco, E. Ramos, A. Rosario, and Wilson are eligible to be MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA for the first time post-2021, but only if the 2020 season is considered a "qualified season" toward minor league free-agency for those players. (Even though the 2020 minor league season was canceled before it began, the 2020 season - WAS - considered to be a "qualified season" for minor leaguers who were eligible to be Rule 55 minor league 6YFA for the first time post-2020). However, if the canceled 2020 minor league season is not considered to be a "qualified season" for players eligible to be Rule 55 minor league 6YFA post-2021, then those players will not be eligible to be free agents after the World Series, and will instead be eligible for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft (if the player is still on a minor league reserve list as of 11/20).    

SECOND CONTRACT MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS (see NOTE below)
Aneudis Beard, RHP (previously released byt TEX) 
Juan Gamez, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Garrett Kelly, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Vance Vizcaino, OF (previously released by KC) 
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 2019 season (TBD).
 
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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).

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • George Altman 2 hours 46 min ago (view)

    The single thing I want in a sports broadcast is to become smarter about the sport,  to learn something from the broadcast crew.

    Stone does that, Romo does that, Eddie O on hockey, and that's about it. I watch sporting events with the sound down very low or off. I forgot more about baseball than most broadcasters will ever know, and I'm always shocked when I see something in a football game that the crew doesn't,  and I know about NOTHING about football. 

     

  • First.Pitch.120 5 hours 6 min ago (view)

    Also... what is with only having 2 dots as the outs counter? I know that you don't really need the 3rd dot, but I find it counter-intuitive. If the dots fill in, then only having 2 throws me off b/c it's natural to subitize "3" associated with outs. You quickly see 0/3, 1/3, 2/3.  If the graphic does not have fill-in dots, then just put the #.  eg - OUTS: 1  It's minimalism for the sake of minimalism, not graphic design for effective communication.

     

  • crunch 5 hours 37 min ago (view)

    tight shots + insane amount of screen real estate being taken up with graphics is a bit of a plague...especially the ones with a non-stop bottom news ticker.

     

  • First.Pitch.120 5 hours 59 min ago (view)

    General comment on baseball broadcasting... I think that the color comentator (CC) needs to talk about 30% more & the PBP about 30% less. I would love a more stream of consciousness from the CC outlining what they would be looking for in a given situation. To that end, why not have 2 CC for national broadcasts - one a pitcher & one a position player. Would love for them to banter back & forth on micro strategy from their perspectives. I think this would turn the game's pauses between action into more of an asset.

     

  • crunch 7 hours 23 min ago (view)

    brews sign j.bradley 2/24m...decent deal for a quality CF'r.  he can opt out of the 2nd year.

     

  • crunch 8 hours 3 min ago (view)

    the national broadcasts on ESPN suffer badly from a lack of "homework" on the teams they're covering.

    yesterday i heard more riffing between the announcers about each other more than the players.  the only thing that saved them from more of that and dead air was in-progress action and player interviews (too many player interviews, but it's spring so whatever).

     

  • Hagsag 10 hours 39 min ago (view)

    Not impressed with ESPN's broadcast. I like Mendoza's work, but how many kids did we have to see rolling around the grass. Good day to see some young players ,but half the time you had no idea who was batting or pitching.

     

  • crunch 19 hours 31 min ago (view)

    cubs game totally not a delay broadcast for ESPN...thanks for that gem heyward.

    dunno if they'll be printing up any "You better have your shit in line" t-shirts, but it's as least as good as "Try not to suck"

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 30 min ago (view)

    Jason Adam is another who throws short arm. I don't think he was a position player, but maybe falls into the arm injury category?

     

  • Sonicwind75 1 day 54 min ago (view)

    Thanks Phil, these pitching summaries are great!

     

  • Eric S 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Thanks, AZ Phil.  Looks like a better use of the off-season by Maples than Carl Jr's hop-in-delivery was a few years ago - and not against the rules either. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Even though he is signed to a minor lesague contract and is not on the MLB 40-man roster right now, I would think Eric Sogard is a virtual lock to make the Cubs Opening Day Active List 26-man roster. 

    The Cubs were reportedly looking to sign a left-handed hitting second-baseman, and Sogard certainly fits that description. And unlike Jason Kipnis, Sogard has the versatility to play 3B and SS as well as 2B. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    ERIC: Just as you said, the short-arm technique can improve command, hopefully without impacting the quality of a pitcher's stuff.

    Based on what I saw yesterday, Maples' stuff is as good as ever, and his command was better, too. Hopefully it will continue, because he probably has the best pure stuff on the staff. Command has always been the problem.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    CUBSTER: Unless there is a wave of pitcher injuries in Spring Training I would think Shelby Miller will probably begin the season at AAA (or at the ATS, since the start of the AAA season is supposely going to be delayed) where he can get stretched out.

     

  • Eric S 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Ha! I wish that was the case!

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Eric S.... you wouldn't happen to be new Cubs NRI Eric Sogard would you????