What is the Rule 5 Draft? How does it impact Diamondbacks?
By Jake Oliver
The Rule 5 Draft is fast-approaching and will impact the Diamondbacks
What is the Rule 5 Draft? What does it do or accomplish? Why does it matter to the Arizona Diamondbacks? How is the team affected by it? Well, these are very important questions that will be answered below!
The Rule 5 Draft occurs in December of every year that has a working CBA agreement. If you want the date for this year’s Rule 5 Draft, then click here! All 30 clubs, or all clubs that have an open 40-man roster spot, like the Diamondbacks, begin a draft based on the reverse order of standings from the previous season. In this case, the Diamondbacks will have the 2nd pick in the draft.
Who’s eligible? Any players that were signed at 18 years or younger and have played at least 5 minor league seasons must be added to the 40-man roster or else face the Rule-5 Draft. Any players signed at age 19 or older must be added to the 40-man within 4 years, or else they face the draft. As such, it’s a vast pool of players that can be selected.
When a player is selected by a team, the team pays that team they took the player from 100 thousand dollars in return. Additionally, at the beginning of the season, Rule-5 Draft picks are guaranteed a spot on the 26-man roster unless the team decides to place him on Waivers.
The player must remain on the active roster or MLB IL for the entire season or else face waivers. When on waivers, any other team can select them. If a team does claim them, the same rules apply. That player must stay on that new team’s active roster. If no teams claim said player, the team must offer that player to his prior team in exchange for 50 thousand dollars.
Rule-5 players can be traded too, but the same rules apply. If the player’s previous team declines to accept the player back (rarely happens), then that player can be sent to minors and optioned. Typically, very few players are taken in the Rule 5 Draft as most teams don’t have open 40-man roster spots or want to dedicate a spot on the active roster for a young, typically unproven player.
Of course, there are some great finds that teams make. Some of the most famous finds are Dan Uggla (taken from the Dbacks), Josh Hamilton, Johan Santana, Joakim Soria, and Garrett Whitlock. Finally, there is a minor-league portion of the Rule 5 Draft where the same processes happen. This is how we got Tyler Gilbert from the Dodgers minor league system prior to the 2021 season. I think that pick has worked really well. After all, all he did this year was throw a No-Hitter.
In recent years, the Diamondbacks have been active in this draft, but not many successes besides Gilbert. In 2020, the team lost Zach Pop to the Orioles. They picked Gilbert as mentioned. Back in 2019, they lost and selected no one. Nick Green was selected off the Yankees by the team in 2018, however, they returned him back to the Yankees at the end of Spring Training. Then, in 2017, Albert Suarez was taken from the Giants. He too was eventually offered back to the Giants.
May the Force be with You…