Free Agency for Major League Baseball has officially begun. The Rangers made a flurry of roster moves just prior to and they now have 34 players on their 40-man roster. The question now is; which prospects will they add to the 40-man to protect them from the Rule-5 Draft?
What is the rule-5 draft?
The rule-5 basically exists to help prevent players from being stashed in a farm system where they may be blocked from making the Majors.
Players that were signed at 18 or younger have five seasons to be added. Players who were singed at 19 or older have four seasons to be added to the 40-man, otherwise they are eligible to be selected by another team.
Some things to keep in mind when it comes to the rule-5.
- A selecting team has to have open roster spots on the 40-man.
- The selecting team pays $100,000 to the team losing the player.
- The player has to remain on the active major league roster for the entire season or be offered to the original team for $50,000.
- Once a team passes, they cannot select again.
There are two portions of the draft: Major League portion to which the player has to be added to the teams 26-man roster and Minor-League portion, where there is no roster restriction.
Which Texas Rangers prospects are eligible for the Rule-5 draft in 2022?
The Rangers have quite a few players that are eligible for the rule-5 this season.
They have 9 players eligible who are ranked in their top 30 prospects.
- Owen White (4)
- Luisangel Acuna (7)
- Dustin Harris (9)
- Cole Winn (10)
- Antoine Kelly (13)
- Jonathan Ornelas (21)
- Avery Weems (23)
- Zak Kent (25)
- Mason Englert (29)
I really believe the Rangers will protect players just on the list above. Of the players above, I would protect: Cole Winn, Owen White, Luisangel Acuña, Dustin Harris, Jonathan Ornelas and Zak Kent.
If the Rangers protect all six of those players, that will leave them with a full 40-man roster.
Some of the other players that are eligible are Blaine Crim, Cody Bradford, Jax Biggers, Davis Wendzel among quite a few others.
A team might be willing to take someone like Bradford or Englert and stash them in the bullpen. I’m curious to see if a team will take a chance on Blaine Crim and use him a DH. Probably not likely but it’s a possibility.
November 15th is the deadline for MLB teams to add rule-5 eligible players to their 40-man rosters for protection.
The Rule-5 draft will take place on December 7th.
**Th section below was edited November 16, 2022**
On November 15th, the Rangers added six players to their 40-man roster for protection from the Rule-5 Draft.
Owen White, Cole Winn, Zak Kent, Luisangel Acuña, Dustin Harris and Jonathan Ornelas were all protected.