Thursday, December 13, 2018

Thanks for (not) playing

With a full 40-man roster, the Twins won't be drafting anybody in this morning's annual Rule 5 draft.

I have mixed feelings about that, largely because the minor league geek in me loves the idea of spotting the player in somebody else's system that deserves a major league opportunity. The reality is that the current rules make it exceedingly rare for anybody worth devoting a roster spot to be available, Ryan Pressly being the exception. (Johan Santana, perhaps the most famous Rule 5 pick of this century, was plucked from the Astros system before teams were granted an extra year of minor league control.)

The Twins have in recent years tried hard, probably too hard, to make a Rule 5 pick pay off. It's probably better not to play that game at all.

I do expect the Twins to lose at least one player -- Tyler Jay, left-handed reliever and former first-round draft pick -- today, and quite possibly more. The Twins in the final years of the Terry Ryan administration spent a lot of high draft picks on college relievers, and many of them, like Jay, are now Rule 5 eligible and unprotected. Relievers are prime targets for Rule 5, since pretty much everybody carries at least 12 pitchers all season and pretty much everybody needs a mop-up man.

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