2010/2011 Offseason Schedule and Handbook Part Three: The Reserves Deadline and Rule 5 Draft

Below is the third of five articles I will be writing early in the offseason concisely laying out exactly what is going to be happening in the organization during the offseason, and when. This third section will detail with the preparations for and proceedings of the Rule 5 Draft.

Previous Editions:
Part One: Free Agency
Part Two: Meetings and Procedure

The events that I talked about during the Free Agency article are occurring right now.

As I discussed in Part Two, the final day of the Winter Meetings (December 9th), the Rule 5 Draft will occur. This is a procedure in which any team with an open spot on the 40 Man Roster may draft eligible players from other and add them to their roster. I will explain the details of eligible players a bit below.

The first thing that will happen of relevance here, however, is the reserves deadline. This is the date when teams must declare everyone in their organization to an organizational roster. After this date, all major and minor leaguers must be assigned to a team (this team may change when assignments are given after Spring Training), off the DL, and within the roster limits from the MLB team on down. Movement between these levels is frozen between this date and the Rule 5 Draft. Players can still be signed as free agents, released, and so forth, but after this deadline, no more minor leaguers can be promoted until after the draft.

When is the reserves deadline? Short answer: I'm not sure. Last year it was Nov. 20th, so it will likely be somewhere around that time. This is the deadline when we must add the players we intend to protect from the draft to the 40 Man Roster.

So who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft? Minor league players who have been in the organization for four seasons (whether they've been playing or not). This includes the year they were drafted and/or signed as an amateur free agent. In other words, players who have been minor league baseball players during 4 different seasons are eligible for the draft (with one major exception, which I will get to below).

In the case of the 2010 Rule 5 Draft, any non-exempt organizational player NOT on the 40 Man Roster who began their career in 2007 or earlier is eligible for the draft. Players who began their career in 2004 or earlier, such as Matt Miller, are likely to declare free agency before the draft. However, if one signs a minor league deal before the reserves deadline/Rule 5 Draft, they too will be eligible. For the most part, however, the primary eligibles will be parts of the classes of 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Players who are selected by the draft must be added to the Active Roster immediately. From that point on, Rule 5 draftees are exactly like any other player, with the only major exception being that if they are ever cut from the team (taken off the Active Roster, not just the 40 Man), they must be returned back to their original organization. In other words, Rule 5 Draftees must stay active the entire season (disabled list counts as active, but optional assignment or outright assignment do not). However, these players CAN be traded, signed to contracts, and other normal activities. It is often a common practice for a team to Rule 5 Draft a player and then immediately trade them to another team that was interested. All requirements of a Rule 5 Draftee move along with them, so if, say, the Dodgers were to draft a player from the Rockies, and then trade that player to the Reds, the Reds would still have to return him to us if they had to cut him.

The Rockies usually do not participate in the draft, using their 40 Man spots to protect players rather than take them. Last year, the Rockies did not have anybody taken from them in the draft either. In 2009, Everth Cabrera (Padres) and David Patton (Cubs) were drafted. Both were kept by their teams. Steven Register was drafted in 2008 by the Mets, but was returned to us.

After the jump, I will list what Rockies players are eligible for the draft as of now.

The following players, as well as any who sign minor league contracts before the draft, are eligible to be Rule 5 Drafted this year, unless they are protected on the 40 Man Roster before the reserves deadline. Current PuRPS are in italics.

 

Class of 2005
RHP Brad Corley
LHP Brandon Durden
OF Chris Frey
RHP Kyle Hancock
RHP Alan Johnson
RHP Andrew Johnston
IF Radames Nazario
IF Mike Paulk
RHP Josh Sullivan

Class of 2006
RHP Jonnathan Aristil
RHP Craig Baker
OF David Christensen
RHP Leuris Gomez
C Jose Gonzalez
RHP Andy Graham
RHP William Harris
OF Anthony Jackson
RHP Sean Jarrett
IF Jeff Kindel
IF Carlos Martinez
IF Matt Repec
OF Leonardo Reyes
OF Scott Robinson
C Wilin Rosario
OF Orlando Sandoval
RHP Rafael Suarez
LHP Jonathan Vargas
IF Helder Velazquez
LHP Keith Weiser

Class of 2007
RHP Bruce Billings
C Johnny Bowden
C Lars Davis
RHP Marco Duarte
LHP Kenneth Durst
IF Darin Holcomb
RHP Sheng-An Kuo
RHP Vianney Mayo
OF Michael Mitchell
C Jordan Pacheco
OF Brian Rike
RHP Cory Riordan
IF Warren Schaeffer
C Beau Seabury
RHP Casey Weathers

 

As I discussed in Part One, the Rockies have two young minor leaguers with unusual contracts: RHPs Chris Malone and Michael Marbry. Both of these players will also be Rule 5 eligible if they are not allowed to declare free agency.

 

Rosario and Pacheco are guarantees to be protected, with Billings and Weathers very likely. Keith Weiser and/or Cory Riordan may be protectees as well, while I expect everyone else to be left vulnerable.

 

Earlier, I mentioned an exception. Those who know our organization well may have noticed that several players from the 2007 class are not on this list. That is because any player who was drafted or signed (began their pro career) when they were 18 years old or younger is not eligible until after playing FIVE seasons instead of four. This was the case with Rosario last year, who did not need to be protected with his class, because he would not be eligible until this season. Below is a list of 2007 class players who skip out on eligibility this season, but will be eligible next season.

 

 

2007ers Safe from Draft Without Protection
OF Juan Crousset
OF Robert de la Cruz
RHP Ricardo Ferrer
RHP Parker Frazier
LHP Isaiah Froneberger
RHP Juan Gonzalez
RHP Nelson Gonzalez
IF Angelys Nina
C Michael Ramirez

 

So there you have it. Next time I will be discussing 2011 40 Man Roster Layout and Arbitration.

If there is any further information you would like to clarify or expand upon part of this article, let me know in the comments or by e-mail. Thanks.

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