While the MLB Winter Meetings have taken on an entirely new look this year because of health concerns surrounding the pandemic, there won’t be anything from preventing the Rule 5 Draft from being orchestrated as normal.
Sure, teams will need to make their respective picks virtually—if they decide to make any selections at all—but the original rules of the event will remain intact.
The 2020 version of the draft will be conducted on Thursday, December 10—the final day of this year’s “virtual” Winter Meetings.
If a player signs with a big league team when he is 18, then he must be added to that team’s 40-man roster within five years or he becomes Rule 5 eligible, making him available to other teams for the taking at the draft.
Players who sign with a major league club at the age of 19 or older must be added to the 40-man within five seasons.
Teams pay $100,000 to select a player in the major league phase of the draft. If that player doesn’t stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $50,000.
Additionally, there is a minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft. The cost is $24,000 for a Triple-A pick, with anyone not protected on a big league or Triple-A roster being eligible. Players chosen in this portion of the draft aren’t subject to any roster restrictions with their new clubs.
Players who are selected in the major league phase are immediately added to their new team’s 40-man roster.
Last month, the Dodgers added four players to the organization’s 40-man roster to protect them from this year’s draft. Those players were right-handed pitchers Gerardo Carrillo, Andre Jackson and Edwin Uceta, in addition to outfielder Zach Reks.
Players who are currently listed on the Dodgers’ Top 30 prospect list but are not protected this year include infielder Omar Estevez (currently ranked No. 21 according to MLB Pipeline), righty pitcher Brett de Gues (ranked No. 27), and outfielder Cody Thomas (ranked No. 30).
Los Angeles did not make any selections in last year’s major league portion of the Rule 5 draft, but the team did select 23-year-old infielder Carlos Sepulveda, formerly of the Cubs, in the minor league phase.
So far during the offseason, a lot of us have been discussing the organizational depth in the outfield, throwing around the idea the Dodgers might be in the market for some younger outfielders this winter. This could be the perfect opportunity to make such an addition.
Seemingly, Los Angeles is plentifully stocked with big league options in the outfield. Accordingly, they have a few up and comers on the lower level of the farm, including 18-year-old Luis Rodriguez and 19-year-old Andy Pages. However, it’s the fringe area where the club is lacking.
Regardless, because of their success in the 2020 campaign, the Dodgers are positioned to select 30th in the first round of this year’s draft, should they decide to utilize the opportunity.
Right now, the Dodgers’ 40-man roster sits at 37 players.
The draft will begin at noon Eastern time and will be streamed live on MLB.com.