The Rule 5 draft will take place on December 11th at the end of the Winter Meetings, but tomorrow is the deadline for protecting players. The current roster is sitting at 38 players, which leaves two spots available. The team could still create room to add more players (either of their own or for players removed from other teams rosters to create space to protect someone else). Here is the list of players who are eligible for the first time for the Rule 5 draft:
I’ve covered this in the past, so this is a bit of a refresher course on who is eligible. From looking at the list, I think it’s a lock that we see Amir Garrett and Kyle Waldrop added to the roster and are protected. After that things get dicey. I’d be surprised to see the Reds add anyone else beyond those two from the group above, but I do believe the Reds can make room for others if they wanted to protect someone beyond those two. I’d say that given how the history of the Rule 5 draft has played out that there aren’t many guys who would be at risk of losing beyond Garrett and Waldrop, though left handers with some stuff do get grabbed up frequently.
There are only two possible names that stick out from guys eligible for their second or third Rule 5 draft. Left hander Wandy Peralta fits the profile of a guy who could be taken as a lefty with good stuff. While his numbers weren’t great as a starter in the California League in 2014 he dominated lefties and a team could take a chance on him as a loogy option for 2015 and then go from there. From the position players side of things Junior Arias jumped out immediately. While he missed most of the 2014 season and went unselected in the 2013 draft, he fits the type of player who could be selected. He has a huge upside, though unpolished in parts of his game, but could provide quality speed and defense off of the bench right now for a team.
I think that I would leave both unprotected and take a chance they don’t stick to someone’s 25-man roster next season, I’d certainly protect Arias over keeping a few guys that are currently on the 40-man roster who are the exact definition of replacement level players that should be freely available at most points in time.