Rule 5 Thoughts

The deadline for teams to file their reserve lists, a.k.a. the day the 40-man rosters have to be set for the Rule 5 draft, is today. This, of course, means it’s time for the annual gnashing our metaphorical teeth over the infinitesmal chance of a “losing” someone significant to another organization (never mind that may actually be better for the player).

Quotes, of course, because nearly every player the Nationals have had selected in the MLB phase since the rules changed in 2007  has been returned and vice-versa. For example, last year Danny Rosenbaum and Jeff Kobernus were selected and both were eventually returned. Two years ago, it was Erik Komatsu and Brad Meyers who were taken and ultimately returned, though both had surgery, which usually happens before the draft.

The rules are pretty simple: Players that signed at age 19 or older and have been in the organization for four years or players that signed at 18 or younger and have been in the organization for five years — if they’re not on the 40-man by tonight, they’re eligible. This basically boils down to 2010 college picks and 2009 high-schoolers and IFAs, though as noted in the comments, the age 19 thing is as of June 5th of the player’s draft year, so there are some exceptions (e.g. HS pick who was an “academic redshirt”).


Aaron Barrett* Colin Bates Matt Grace* Ricky Hague* Neil Holland
Kevin Keyes* Cole Leonida Jason Martinson Estarlin Martinez Silvio Medina
Christian Meza Randolph Oduber Wander Ramos Adderling Ruiz Cameron Selik
Sammy Solis* Michael Taylor*

The asterisks are 2013 watchlist players, the italics for the pitcher who was hurt. I focus on the first-timers because subsequently eligible players are rarely taken. In fact nearly a quarter of last year’s first-timers are no longer with the organization.

Folks perhaps more obsessed with the Draft than I am may look at this group of players as something of an indictment of the Class of 2010, given that so few of these players have touched AA, never mind AAA. There is still hope for this class to produce more than just one major-leaguer (Harper) with A.J. Cole, Robbie Ray and Solis still in striking distance.

Indeed, it would seem that Solis may be the only player here placed on the 40-man to be protected. You could make the case for Aaron Barrett, too, citing the example of Erik Davis a year ago. What will be more interesting is who will eventually be moved off, though I’ll defer to the folks more versed in roster manuevering to speculate about that.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

16 thoughts on “Rule 5 Thoughts”

  1. You have to figure they add Solis to the 40 man for sure.

    Is Komatsu still in baseball? He sure seemed snakebitten with illness & injury.

  2. I clicked on the draft tracker to take a look at the Rule 5 eligibles for other years and happened to notice that Chris Manno is eligible this year … brought back memories of all the gnashing of teeth here, but in retrospect could have have a good trade if Gomes had worked out as well here as he did in Oak / Boston. What do you think … is a claim here Rizzo’s secret plan to get a lefty specialist for the bullpen?

  3. I worry that Michael Taylor could be lost if not protected. By all accounts he’s already near gold glove standard in CF, and he has 50+SB speed. Yes, he won’t hit a lick at the major league level (yet), but it’s not unheard of for a rebuilding team to grab a 5th outfielder / defensive replacement / pinch runner type in the rule 5 draft, and try and hide him as the last man on the roster….

  4. If history is an indicator – look st last year-
    Both Danny Rose and JeffreySpecialK
    The guy I am not concerned about yet again -?-
    EstArlin Martinez. Who plays both corners
    Including in the infield . 4-5 HRs in hags.
    Even if he was not elgible , I have been playing
    Big board April 14 in my head. He seems like
    A possible April repeater @ hags to hang with JC Valdez
    Plus the Auburn guys like The Trojan twins ,
    Rodrieguez, Bruin Allen , …Texan GG moves to outfield
    With Ward trailing behind to play 3b.
    You fans wonder why teams scour the outer
    Banks of existence to add arms for various bullpen levels
    ??? Injuries , retirements and Rule V minor league
    A bigger theme than Rule V to me is when will Harris
    And brass push the envelope with some of the guys
    I wish SYR gets to see an infield of Johnson , Martinson,
    Hague, Lozada, Bluxom ( Souza play some 1b)
    Safe to say Nats will ink a few old Snake farm hands
    Familiar to Williams9, Rizzo and Kline
    Curious holes to fill with Henley and Schu
    On big club staff: look @ AZ: Alan Cockrell,
    Greg Gross ( old Philly pal to Bob Boone?)
    Or ex- po Jason Camilli?!!??
    Would Gary Cathcart fit better as Suns skipper
    Or minor league field coordinator ???
    Any responses ?

  5. Hmmm! Some teams may just pay homage
    To the Rice pedigree and that legendary
    Coach nabbing Rick Hague who could hit his way
    To a big league camp someday / somewhere.
    No offense to Kevin Keyes but he is destined
    To be in an AL org. Perhaps a season on City
    Isle might increase his bat value, but 1b
    Is an adventure live with coverage of eyes sometimes
    Yes a good Arizona for the arms and bats
    Especially for XFT for Purke and Solis.
    Now we just await how Mooneyham, Lee
    Turnbull show up in camp!

  6. Not related to Rule V talk, but Chris Rahl gets an invite to Major League Spring Training with the Twins!

  7. I wonder if they’ll lose Martinson? He might have played well enough to get a shot at a major league roster on some teams.

  8. Looks like Nats protected Solis and Taylor. Peric, I don’t think Martinson had the kind of season he was hoping for.

  9. If Martinson played so well @ AA
    Last season to the point where he
    Garnered interest from brass and other clubs
    Maybe he would have been bumped up
    To SYR to see his ceiling .
    Would Mark DeRosa return to nats to
    Lend a hand in PD role??

  10. g burg I love the Manno idea and I do remember all of the talk years ago, it was fun but most importantly I really think Rizzo and company will take a long hard look at him The reds are stacked and they could not protect him, i personally think it would be a steal. Since leaving the Nats he has pitched very very well in bakersfield (High A) and 2 years at the AA level.. Grab him

    1. It was definitely said with tongue firmly planted in cheek, but would be a fun trip down memory lane and would definitely excite a few die hard “minions” here (while totally baffling everybody else in baseball, as he seems to have fallen off the prospect radar with a couple of OK , but nothing special, years at AA, and wouldn’t exactly be a proven upgrade for a team with championship ambitions). That said, Rizzo does seem to love to re-acquire players he drafted, so I guess you never know ….

  11. G Burg certainly not one of the minions and not to sound totally heartless, I really can give a hoot about that issue. But i want to put this in perspective . Leftys are hard to come by and after looking deeper into Manno’s numbers in AA southern league , I have to say I am impressed an ERA of about 3.8(not the most important number for me) but still solid.He threw about 110 innings and struck out 111 with around 48 BB and a batting average against about .245. Now here is what I like as a scout . (1) his second half of last year was awesome. 36 IP with 34 strike out to only 9 walks. BA avaerage against was around .200 and get this against lefty’s was.045. I also called some scouts in the southern league and asked exactly waht th edeal was and they reported his velocity was up in the second half to around 89-92. He normally sits 87-90 . I have seen him about a dozen times in AA. I like him very much . Is he big league ready today. I say absolutely. Not a minion just a honest scout with honest view points and good reports. We will see

    1. Dale … that is great to hear … I hadn’t looked that closely and saw the slight degradation in some of the superficial numbers like ERA from 2012 to 2013 (at the same level) as a negative indicator. I didn’t mean to use “Manno’s Minions” as a slur .. just a reference back to those fans of his that recognized his talent and great numbers here earlier than most, and would still remember him (and I include myself). I hope you are right that he gets his shot now, as he seems like an ideal candidate to take advantage of the Rule 5 process. After last year, though, I think Rizzo will feel the pressure to go after a bigger name as his LH reliever.

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