Before I get back to the Pitcher and Catcher reviews, I thought I would take a look at the dates critical for the 40-Man roster construction.
There are two 40-man-roster-related things that happen the day after the World Series ends. First, free agents earn that official designation, meaning they are dropped from the 40-man roster. Second, players on the 60-day IL and are under team control come back onto the 40-man roster.
The Dodgers have 46 players on 40 man roster including 6 non free agents on the 60 day IL. There are 10 LAD free agents, thus the 40 man roster will drop to 36. The 36 include the 4 players with club options.
The Dodgers will have 5 days after the WS for exclusive negotiating rights for their free agents. If any of these are signed during this period, they are added back to the 40 man roster. I would not think any LAD FA will come to terms during this exclusive negotiating period.
Before this 5-day exclusivity period ends, any player(s) the Dodgers want to offer Qualifying Offers (QO) to must be offered, and the players then have 10 days to accept or decline. Trea Turner is a given, and Tyler Anderson and Clayton Kershaw are possibilities. This year the QO is set at $19.65MM.
The five day post WS period is also the deadline for teams to decide which players they will exercise their club options. The Dodgers have four in this category:
Any player whose club option is not exercised, that player is removed from the 40 man roster, opening another spot. If all free agents with a QO decline, and all four club options are not exercised, the 40 man could drop to 32.
Why is this exercise important? On November 15, any player eligible for the Rule 5 draft must be added to the 40 man roster.
Rule 5 draft eligibility rules:
Any professional player who signed their initial contract as an 18-year-old or younger, that player becomes eligible for the Rule 5 draft after their fifth professional season. Any player who initially signed at 19 or older is eligible after their fourth professional season. A very general rule (very general) first time eligible players are international free agents signed in 2018, and players drafted and signed for the 2019 MLB Rule 4 Amateur Draft are eligible.
The Dodgers currently have 68 players that qualify for the Rule 5 draft, including 20 first time eligible players:
Michael Busch – 2B/1B/LF – OKC (AAA)
Nick Robertson – RHRP – OKC (AAA)
Aaron Ochsenbein – RHRP – OKC (AAA)
Brandon Lewis – 3B/1B – Tulsa (AA)
Kody Hoese – 3B/ 1B – Tulsa (AA)
Andy Pages – OF – Tulsa (AA)
Jonny DeLuca – OF – Tulsa (AA)
Ryan Ward – OF – Tulsa (AA)
Alec Gamboa – LHP – Tulsa (AA)
Jake Cantleberry – LHRP – Tulsa (AA)
Diego Cartaya – C – Great Lakes (A)
Zac Ching – Infield – Great Lakes (A)
José Ramos – OF – Great Lakes (A)
Carlos Duran – RHP – Great Lakes (A)
Hyun-il Choi – IL – Great Lakes (A)
Jeff Belge – LHRP – Great Lakes (A)
Jack Little – RHRP – Great Lakes (A)
Braydon Fisher – RHP – Great Lakes (A)
Jerming Rosario – RHP – Rancho Cucamonga (A-)
Jhan Zambrano – RHP – Rancho Cucamonga (A-)
The projections below are in my opinion only. I have not read anywhere who will be protected.
Of that group, there are 4 no-doubters:
- Diego Cartaya – C – Great Lakes (A)
- Michael Busch – 2B/1B/LF – OKC (AAA)
- Andy Pages – OF – Tulsa (AA)
- José Ramos – OF – Great Lakes (A)
Next group for consideration:
- Jonny DeLuca – OF – Tulsa (AA)
- Carlos Duran – RHP – Great Lakes (A)
Players that were not protected in previous years, who could get taken in the Rule 5 Draft:
- Ryan Noda – 1B – OKC (AAA)
- Leonel Valera – SS – Tulsa (AA)
- Hunter Feduccia – OKC (AAA)
- Devin Mann – Utility – OKC (AAA)
- Drew Avans – CF – OKC (AAA)
- Justin Yurchak – 1B/LF – Tulsa (AA)
How many players get protected is a guess at this time. A team does not have to have their 40 man roster filled.
The next date that will be important is November 18, Tender Date. This is the date that all players on the roster have to be offered a contract. The amount is not disclosed. What it really signifies is which players on the roster, without an existing contract, do they want to negotiate with. This is when we will learn if Cody Bellinger will be tendered or non-tendered. Belli is not the only one that could be non-tendered, just the most likely.
After this date, the 40 man roster should be known, and whether there is room for a team to draft a player under MLB Rule 5. Of course that number could be increased or decreased by trades and/or FA signings prior to the draft.
When is the Rule 5 Draft?
The Winter Meetings are scheduled to be held December 4 – 7 in San Diego. The MLB Rule 5 draft is held on the last day of the meetings.
The Rule 5 Draft allows clubs without a full 40-man roster to select certain non-40-man roster players from other clubs. Clubs draft in reverse order of the standings from the previous season.
A team that selects a player in the Rule 5 Draft pays $100,000 to the team from which he was selected. The receiving team must then keep the player on the Major League 26-man roster for the entirety of the next season, and the selected player must remain active (not on the disabled list) for a minimum of 90 days.
The player must be placed on outright waivers in order to be removed from the 26-man roster in the subsequent season. Should the player clear waivers, he must be offered back to his previous team for $50,000 and can be outrighted to the Minors only if his original club does not wish to reacquire him. If the original club re-acquires the player, that player must be placed on the 26 man roster. If the player does not clear waivers, the team that acquired the player must place him on the 26 man roster.
Sometimes, teams will trade another player to the Rule 5 player’s original team so they can keep the player they selected, but still send him to the minors.
Not every club will make a selection, even if they have availability. Once a team passes on a draft pick, that team can no longer participate in the current year ML portion of the draft.
There was no MLB Phase Rule 5 Draft last year. But there was the MiLB phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Each organization can protect 38 players on the AAA roster.
There are no eligibility rules that have to be maintained in the minor league phase. The player is drafted, the player’s old organization is paid $24,500 and immediately the player becomes a member of his new organization. Almost all of the players picked in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft are viewed as useful organizational players for their new team, but occasionally a player does find his way to the majors with his new organization.
Last year, the Dodgers selected three in the MiLB phase.
- RHP – Carson Fulmer – Assigned to OKC
- RHP – Jon Duplantier – Assigned to OKC
- C – Kekai Rios – Assigned to Great Lakes and then to Tulsa
Carson Fulmer has already elected free agency. Duplantier and Rios are still with the Dodgers.
There are so many twists and turns that will take place with the LAD roster before ST. The option decisions, Rule 5 protection, and tender v non-tender are just a small number of those paths that must be traversed.