Thinking about the Rule 5 Draft

Yours truly got his question on the Rule 5 Draft answered by Jim Callis at BA, and hopefully it clears up some questions we had here on who is eligible and who isn’t. I haven’t even looked who the Phillies will have to make decisions on yet, let alone looking for possible targets. But, here is what Jim said on the issue.

    Under the new collective bargaining agreement, college players have four years and high school players have five years before they have to be protected on a 40-man roster, correct? Is this from when they sign, or from when they first play? For example, Brad Harman of the Phillies signed out of Australia in 2003, when he was 17, but he didn't make his debut until 2004. So he wouldn't have to be protected until after 2008, right? Jason Jaramillo, who was drafted out of Oklahoma State in 2004 and then played that summer, he has to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason, correct?

    James Moyer
    Washington D.C.

James is correct on the status or Harman and Jaramillo, but the recent change to rule is a little more involved. First, it’s based purely on the player’s age at the time of his signing, with those 18 or younger in one group and those 19 or older in another. Under the previous CBA, a player’s 40-man clock started ticking when he began playing, so a club could postdate his contract to the following year and buy an extra season before it had to protect him. Teams had to place a 19-and-older signee on the 40-man roster after three years, and an 18-and-younger signee after four years, or risk losing him in the major league Rule 5 draft at the Winter Meetings.

Now the rule gives clubs an additional year before they have protected players, though it no longer allows teams to postdate the contracts to buy extra time. Teams get the best of both worlds for players signed before the new CBA went into effect after the 2006 offseason, as they can take advantage of not only the added year, but also a postdated contract if one applies.

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10 thoughts on “Thinking about the Rule 5 Draft

  1. Thanks for the post.

    “Teams get the best of both worlds for players signed before the new CBA went into effect after the 2006 offseason, as they can take advantage of not only the added year, but also a postdated contract if one applies.”

    Which players were affected? Did the Phillies get the best of both worlds on any contracts?

    With extra year of protection, will this trigger a wave of spending to sign a year younger, or does it sort of cancel itself out since they were postdating anyway?

  2. Best of both worlds would apply mainly to Aussie players. For the Phillies both Harman and Mitchinson signed a year before they made their U.S. debut. Naylor will be an interesting case. He signed in March 2004. By the clock rules he would have to be protected next year. He made his U.S. debut in 2006, however, and by the implied clock rules would have up to 3 more seasons before he would need to be protected. I imagine he will at least be in the post-18 year old category because he was already age 20 when he made his debut though he was still 17 when signed. I wonder if there are Aussie exceptions to the published rule because most of those signees play in a MLB academy for a year or two.

  3. But in that response it didn’t stipulate ‘began playing in the US’, it was just when they began playing. So if service time in the DSL counts for latin prospects, why wouldn’t playing in the Aussie MLB Academy also count?

  4. Thanks, Squire.

    If all goes well we might get a look at Harman in Philly late next season.

    Jaramillo has a chance to grab a spot over Coste this spring. Ruiz is underrated and continues to improve; you have to love the Phillies depth behind the dish.

  5. BA must have been wrong about Harman and that year he played over in the Australian complex. This means we might have to protect Naylor after next season if I am interpreting the rules correctly (assuming he continues to progress). He played 2 years in Australia before coming here and has already played 2 more here for a total of 4 so far.

  6. Just wondering if we will even pick anyone in the rue 5 since we currently stand at 38 on the 40 man roster and we may sign another pitcher and add an outfielder? Hopefully there is no one else the phillies must add. Also, maybe they will jettison LaForest (sp) and that could save us a roster spot.

  7. ooh, BA has a list of interesting guys available- Shane Lindsey is that guy that jumps out at me- an aussie from the rockies system was injured last year and started pitching again in Hawaii- when healhty he’d have the best stuff available. But, not having pitched above the sally league he’s not a likely pick for the phils.

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