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 10-20-2021)
Jose Albertos, RHP 
Chris Allen, LHP 
Edmond Americaan, OF
Shendrik Apostel, 1B
D. J. Artis, OF
Javier Assad, RHP 
Cam Balego, C-INF
Craig Brooks, RHP (on Restricted List)
Jesus Camargo, RHP (on Restricted List)
Derek Casey, RHP 
Danis Correa, RHP
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
Reivaj Garcia, INF
Jose Miguel Gonzalez, RHP 
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 
Dakota Mekkes, RHP
Eduarniel; Nunez, RHP 
Carlos Ocampo, RHP 
Jack Patterson, LHP 
Yonathan Perlaza, INF 
Fabian Pertuz, INF 
Jake Reindl, RHP 
Jorge Remon, RHP 
Peyton Remy, RHP 
Samuel Reyes, RHP 
Ethan Roberts, RHP 
Benjamin Rodriguez, RHP 
Luis Angel Rodriguez, LHP 
Cam Sanders, RHP 
Yeison Santana, INF 
Wyatt Short, LHP 
Jonathan Sierra, OF
Jake Slaughter, INF-OF 
Matt Swarmer, RHP 
Riley Thompson, RHP 
Erich Uelmen, RHP 
Dauris Valdez, 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 2022 minor league contract prior to the 2021 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 9 (FORMERLY MLB RULE 55)  FREE-AGENT POST-2021 WORLD SERIES

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS
Jose Almonte, RHP 
Abiatal Avelino, INF (Article XX-D player)
James Bourque, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
Erick Castillo, C (Article XX-D player)
Dakota Chalmers, RHP (Article XX-D player - see NOTE-2)
Yovanny Cuevas, OF (see NOTE-2)
Donnie Dewees, OF (see NOTE-2)
Taylor Gushue, C (Article XX-D player)
Mike Hauschild, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
Ben Holmes, LHP 
Bryan Hudson, LHP (see NOTE-2)
Ryan Lawlor, LHP (see NOTE-2)
Luis Lugo, LHP 
Dillon Maples, RHP (Article XX-D player)
Ian Miller, OF (Article XX-D player)
Nicholas Padilla, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Tyler Payne, C (Article XX-D player - see NOTE-2)
C. D. Pelham, LHP (Article XX-D player - see NOTE-2
Raymond Pena, C (see NOTE-2)
Eury Ramos, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Aneuris Rosario, RHP (see NOTE-2)
Marcus Walden, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
Joe Wieland, RHP (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: Chalmers, Cuevas, Dewees, Hudson, Lawlor, Padilla, Payne, Pelham, R. Pena, E. Ramos, and A. Rosario are eligible to be MLB Rule 9 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 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 9 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-1 below)
Aneudis Beard, RHP (previously released by TEX)
Andres Bonalde, LHP (previously released by CUBS)
Edwin Figuera, INF (previously released by STL)
Juan Gamez, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Alex Katz, LHP (previously released by BAL)
Ryan Kellogg, LHP (previously released by CUBS)
Garrett Kelly, RHP (previously released by MIN)
Austin Krzeminski, RHP (previously released by LAA)
Jackson McClelland, RHP (previously released by TOR)
Carlos Sepulveda, INF (previously released by LAD) 
Tyler Suellentrop, RHP (previously released by SEA)
Tim Susnara, C (previously released by AZ) 
Vance Vizcaino, OF (previously released by KC) 
Harrison Wenson, C (previously released by LAA) 
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 2021 season (TBD).
NOTE-2: LHP Drew Stambaugh (previously released by BAL) and INF-RHP Michael Arias (previously released by TOR) are second-contract players, but if signed beyond 2021 they will not be eligible for selection in the MLB Rule 5 Draft until post-2022.  
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


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

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Hagsag 9 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Thank you Phil, I can see this is a work of love.

     

  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 27 min ago (view)

    Cubs Reportedly Sign Powerful Infielder Alejandro Rivero Out of Indy Ball: https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2021/10/21/cubs-reportedly-sign-powe...

     

  • crunch 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    * except for playing 1st base

     

  • crunch 3 days 16 hours ago (view)

    a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...

     

  • Cubster 3 days 18 hours ago (view)

    any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?

     

  • crunch 3 days 18 hours ago (view)

    k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.

     

  • Cubster 3 days 19 hours ago (view)

    Carter Hawkins introduced to the press...

    https://youtu.be/X9RV6bAIIfw

     

  • crunch 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.

    both are/were catcher organizational depth.

     

  • crunch 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.

    mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 2 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far. 

     

  • crunch 4 days 17 hours ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.

     

  • bradsbeard 4 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 days 2 hours ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.

     

  • Hagsag 5 days 8 hours ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 

     

  • azbobbop 5 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.