Which Prospects Should Dodgers Protect from December’s Rule 5 Draft?


Tuesday is the deadline for MLB teams to decide which prospects to protect from the Rule 5 draft, and the Dodgers have some decisions to make, perhaps more than in recent years.

The Rule 5 draft happens at the Winter Meetings and involves professional players as opposed to amateur ones. Players on the 40-man roster are exempt from being drafted, regardless of other eligibility factors.

Teams can ‘protect’ their prospects by placing them on their 40-man roster. Eligible players for the draft must have been signed at age 19 or over and have played professionally for four years, or were drafted at age 18 and have played professionally for five years.

As the Dodgers are currently sitting at 39 players, they will have to reduce that number if they want to keep the prospects they prize the most. Tom Koehler, Erik Goeddel, Zac Rosscup and Pat Venditte seem to me to be the most likely candidates to be non-tendered, but could be offered minor league contracts with invites to spring training.

As far as the prospects the Dodgers will most want to protect, I believe it begins with Keibert Ruiz. He is the second ranked prospect in the Dodgers farm system, behind Alex Verdugo who is already on the Dodgers 40-man. He is one of two highly regarded catching prospects, along with Will Smith, but is at least a year away from making the big leagues. Ruiz is only 20-years-old, but because he was signed so young, he is already eligible. He will be a no-brainer to protected.

Yadier Alvarez is the tenth ranked prospect, a pitcher who has been shaky in recent years. He left the Double-A Tulsa Drillers team in the middle of the season, only to return later. While he has not shown steady progress toward reaching his full potential, his overall ceiling and fastball make his case for being protected, as well as the $16 million investment the Dodgers made in him.

The rest of the list of players that are eligible are as follows:

Pitchers: RHP Isaac Anderson, LHP Leo Crawford, RHP Nolan Long, RHP Josh Sborz, RHP Andrew Sopko, and RHP Shea Spitzbarth

Infielders: 1B/3B Matt Beaty, C/1B Garrett Hope, SS/2B Drew Jackson, 1B/3B Connor Joe, IF Gersel Pitre, 1B/3B Edwin Rios, 3B/1B Cristian Santana, IF Jake Peter, 3B Jefrey Souffront, and IF Jared Walker.

Outfield: Shakier Albert, Kyle Garlick, and Logan Landon

How many prospects total the Dodgers will be interesting to watch. Rios, Joe and Sborz all have good cases to be made to keep them also. We will see just how much of the farm system the front office would like to keep in place, and what current players they feel are expendable.

8 thoughts on “Which Prospects Should Dodgers Protect from December’s Rule 5 Draft?

  1. You have to keep guys who have more potential than just role players. From that group I’m keeping Joe, Jackson, Santana and Rios. Rios has a legit mlb bat but is totally blocked at first with Dodgers. He will be part of trade package this winter. Mets could use him at first and they have elite starters and want MLB ready talent. Rios,Pederson, Stripling and maybe Santana might interest Mets!

  2. Paxton traded to the Yanks for Sheffield and two other non top 10 prospects. Just in case we decide we’re interested in Kluber, Carrasco or Bauer, the Paxton trade should somewhat set the market for those three guys. How do you folks think that translates to what we have on our roster or in our system and which of the three would you go after, if any?

    1. I’d take any of the 3, but Kluber is better than all of them, including Paxton. Not sure Bauer can be trusted. Who do we trade? May and two not Top 10 guys? Iontkno.

  3. From Dodgers Nation:


    Joc Pederson or Puig, Dustin May and Will Smith for J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro
    Pederson/Puig, Alex Wood, Mitchell White and Connor Wong for Realmuto and Wei-Yin Chen
    Pederson, May and Smith for Realmuto and Derek Dietrich

    For the pure prospect route:


    The Dodgers aren’t going to start Verdugo in 2019
    Marlins aren’t taking on any salary other than minimums
    I think May might be on the internal Dodgers untouchable list but am including him in trades as he’s a big trade chip
    Top 10 prospects according to MiLB, in order are Verdugo, Ruiz, May, Lux, Smith, Santana, White, Peters, Kendall and Yadier Alvarez (he’s falling fast)


    Verdugo, White, Wong for Realmuto
    Peters, May, Smith for Realmuto
    Verdugo, Smith for Realmuto

    We’ve seen the talk of taking on Castro. 3.3 rWAR. Salary of $11.8mm then a $1mm buyout (or team option $16mm) He projects to be as good at age 29 next year. We could do, and have done, worse. I’m not interested in Chen. And no on Dietrich.

    I read this morning that, along with Byrnes, there are 10 other analysts, a few are former players, in the Dodgers FO. There aren’t any rumors I can find that suggest the Dodgers are actually in on … well, anything really. Some suggest they’ll enter talks just to drive up the price. Sure. That will happen. Some say they want to make a splash. As I’ve already said – I doubt it. With most of a two time NL pennant winner coming back, I think it will be more margin pruning than anything else.

    We wait.

  4. Smith, May, Wood, Toles, Rios and maybe Taylor for Realmuto and Castro and a prospect. Marlins can plug all except Smith and May into lineup and those two could be ready later in year or 2020. Castro makes Taylor expendable. Realmuto and Castro start until Ruiz and Lux are ready. Rios and Toles are excess baggage and Wood has become excess also with all the SP we have.

    1. If I’m the Marlins I think long and hard about your proposal and then tell you I’ll do it if you sub Stripling for Wood (much more control and less salary). On the other hand I’m really not sure Friedman would do it (even with Wood instead of Stripling) for two years of Realmuto and one of Castro. This is what Hot Stove is all about folks. Ain’t it fun!

  5. Moves just announced. Ruiz, Alvarez, Sborz, Rios, Beaty to 40 man. Goeddel, Rosscup, Locastro dfa’d. Koehler released.

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