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 2020 RULE 5 DRAFT (last updated 12-2-2020)
Aramis Ademan, INF 
Maikel Aguiar, RHP 
Jose Albertos, RHP 
Javier Assad, RHP 
Abiatal Avelino, INF (Article XX-D player) - signed 2021 minor league contract 
Cam Balego, C-INF
Craig Brooks, RHP 
Rex Brothers, LHP (Article XX-D player) -signed 2021 minor league successor contract 
Jesus Camargo, RHP
Bailey Clark, RHP
Danis Correa, RHP 
Yovanny Cuevas, OF 
Zach Davis, OF
Donnie Dewees, OF
Christian Donahue, INF 
Scott Effross, RHP 
Juan Gamez (second-contract FA) - signed 2021 minor league contract
Trent Giambrone, IF-OF
Tyler Gushue, C - post-2020 minor league 6YFA - signed 2021 minor league contract
Jose Gutierrez, OF 
Ben Hecht, RHP 
Ferrol Heredia, LHP 
Michael Hermosillo, OF (Article XX-D player) - signed 2021 minor league contract 
P. J. Higgins, C-INF
Bryan Hudson, LHP  
Brandon Hughes, LHP (ex-OF) 
Jake Jewell, RHP (Article XX-D player) - post-2020 minor league 6YFA - signed 2021 minor league contract
Ryan Kellogg, LHP 
Fernando Kelli, OF 
Garrett Kelly, RHP - second-contract player 
Ryan Lawlor, LHP - second-contract player 
Brendon Little, LHP 
Luis Lugo, LHP - signed 2021 minor league successor contract 
Eddy Julio Martinez, OF 
Hector Matos, RHP (Restricted List)
Trevor Megill, RHP (Article XX-D player)
Fidel Mejia, INF 
Dakota Mekkes, RHP
Ian Miller, OF (Article XX-D player) - post-2020 Article XX-D minor league FA - signed 2021 minor league contract 
Connor Myers, OF 
Tommy Nance, RHP 
Carlos Ocampo, RHP 
Rafael Ortega, OF (Article XX-D player) - post-2020 minor league 6YFA - signed 2021 minor league contract
Josh Osich, LHP (Article XX-D player) - signed 2021 minor leahuie successor contract 
Jeffrey Passantino, RHP 
Tyler Payne, C
C. D. Pelham, LHP (Article XX-D player) 
Raymond Pena, C
Henderson Perez, C 
Hernan Perez (Article XX-D player) - signed 2021 minor league successor contrasct 
Yunior Perez, RHP 
Yonathan Perlaza, INF 
Gustavo Polanco, C-1B   
Eury Ramos, RHP 
Peyton Remy, RHP 
Duncan Robinson, RHP 
Aneuris Rosario, RHP 
Michael Rucker, RHP (Article XX-D player) 
Wyatt Short, LHP 
Jonathan Sierra, OF
D. J. Snelten, LHP (Article XX-D player) - signed 2021 minor league contract 
Jerrick Suiter, RHP (ex-1B) - signed 2021 minor league successor contract
Matt Swarmer, RHP 
Erich Uelmen, RHP 
Didier Vargas, LHP 
Juan Vasquez, C - second contract player 
Jerry Vasto, LHP - (Article XX-D player) - post-2020 minor league 6YFA - signed 2021 minor league contract
Vance Vizcaino, OF - second contract player 
Joe Wieland, RHP (Article XX-D player) - signed 2021 minor league successor contract - 
D. J. Wilson, OF 
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.


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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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  • First.Pitch.120 2 hours 42 min ago (view)

    I actually always liked Andy Masur... liked his call & vibe. The local connections always adds a nice layer (Glenview native, Maine East grad, Bradley alum). I think he'd be a great pick-up. (Though after name-checking Glenview, I do have to add... GBN > GBS. Spartan alum!)

     

  • Hagsag 6 hours 32 min ago (view)

    Thom? NFW!

     

  • crunch 16 hours 46 min ago (view)

    it probably had nothing to do with len leaving, but Marquee can get rid of that "we're all wearing suits and we're classy as hell" look.

    i loved len and bob...len and jd i was only warming up to in the past couple years.  either way, gonna miss len.

     

  • crunch 16 hours 51 min ago (view)

    *laura ricketts has entered the chat*

     

  • crunch 16 hours 52 min ago (view)

    the claim is he "really wants to do radio" and "totally nothing wrong with Marquee"...etc etc

    but yeah...the team is having a hell of an offseason having theo walk away with a year left on his deal, semi-embarrassingly trying to find a taker for bryant, deciding to not keep schwarber, and now the long-time cubs pbp TV guy leaves for a radio gig across town.

    all of this and the cubs are yet to be linked to any FA discussions...or names for a GM hunt...or a pool of teams actually interested in bryant...or anything resembling a 2021 plan so far...

     

  • Eric S 16 hours 53 min ago (view)

    Thom Brennaman - a longtime Cub fan favorite - would fit Marquee to a T 🤣

     

  • Charlie 16 hours 57 min ago (view)

    My appreciation of Len has waned since 2016. But he and JD have been my favorite Cubs broadcast crew in the ~25 years I've paid close attention.

    I wasn't thrilled about the few changes that came along with Marquee this year.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    I believe this is the correct take. It's surprising that Len is leaving. He's good, but he had gotten a little too rationalizey over the past few years for me.

    However, it seemed he was heavily invested in the Cubs. His departure feels like there is some Ricketts-ish bullshit going on behind the scenes at Marquee that Len wants no part of. Anyway, I wish him well with the other Chicago team

     

  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    wtf...

    is everything the ricketts touch just falling to shit in 2021?  ....well, except their heavy investments in taking over the state of Nebraska politically with one of the sons and heavy investment in supportive state legislators...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    This makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks Phil!

    (And that HR off Hader was unforgettable)

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Shocker!

     

  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Len Kasper is leaving the Cubs for the White Sox radio booth.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&so...

     

  • Charlie 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    I would be happy to see the Cubs no longer spend DH time on Victor Caratini. Provided there's a Kyle Schwarber or better alternative, of course.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 49 min ago (view)

    DJL: I don't think Ildemaro Vargas being out of minor league options is much of a concern to the Cubs because as things stand right now he projects as the team's primary utility infielder in 2021. He can play all four INF positions (1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, plus corner OF, too), and he is switch hitter with some pop, especially from the right side (remember the 9th inning HR he hit off Josh Hader in September?). 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point

     

  • waveland 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    really appreciate the years and years of your updates