Friday, December 13, 2013

Rule 5 withdrawal

Thursday was the annual Rule 5 draft, when major league teams pick through the players their rivals deemed unworthy of protecting on the 40-man roster.

I doubt that there is a team as devoted to exploiting Rule 5 as the Twins. Rule 5 provided Shane Mack, a key outfielder on the 1991 World Series champion team. It provided Johan Santana, who became the best pitcher in baseball for a few years. More recently, and despite a tightening of the rules that meant less talent was being exposed to the draft, Rule 5 brought the Twins pitchers Scott Diamond and Ryan Pressly.

This year, for the first time in memory, the Twins skipped Rule 5, or at least the major league portion of it. In effect, they determined that there was nobody available in the field of potential picks who figured to be more valuable than the least player on the 40-man roster.

Which is certainly possible, even with a number of replacement-level players on the 40.

The Twins didn't lose anybody in the major league portion of the draft either.

They did make two selections, and lost two players, in the minor league portion. I won't get into those picks; the only minor league Rule 5 guy I know of who so much as reached the majors for the Twins was Brian Buscher, who had two partial seasons at third base in 2008-09.

Figure these guys as organization depth. If they emerge as something more, great.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, a strange move in light of the fact it appears the Twins are trying to move forward.