We’ve danced around this topic here for the last week or so at the site, bringing it up a few times in comments sections, or even yesterday when discussing the turnaround of Ismael Guillon. Usually we don’t get into the Rule 5 discussion this early in the year, but there’s a lot of things going on this season and in a true rebuild, it may be a little bit more important than in past years for the final few players to add or keep off of the 40-man roster.

To be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft here are the qualifications:

  • A player who was 18 or younger on June 5th of the year in which they signed and this is their 5th Rule 5 draft since signing is eligible if not placed on the 40-man roster.
  • A player who was 19 or older on June 5th of the year in which they signed and this is their 4th Rule 5 draft since signing is eligible if not played on the 40-man roster.

The eligibility rules are fairly easy to figure out. Choosing who to protect isn’t always as easy. The team that selects a player must keep that player on the 25-man roster all season long and that’s something that most players aren’t ready to handle. If they were, the team that they originally were with probably would have added them to their own 40-man roster. That isn’t always the case, but a large majority of Rule 5 picks are returned to their original team.

The Cincinnati Reds current 40-man roster has 43 players on it. Once the season is officially over (The World Series ends), players that are on the 60-day disabled list must be removed and added to the 40-man roster. That leaves the Reds with three spots they will already need to clear. Of course, they also will open two spots with free agency as Alfredo Simon and Ross Ohlendorf will be gone.

Here’s the list of players in the Top Prospects list who will need to be protected this offseason:

  1. Jesse Winker – OF
  2. Nick Travieso – RHP
  3. Phillip Ervin – OF
  4. Keury Mella – RHP
  5. Aristides Aquino – OF
  6. Zack Weiss – RHP
  7. Ariel Hernandez – RHP
  8. Jackson Stephens – RHP
  9. Calten Daal – SS

That’s the list of players just from the current Top 25 Prospects that would need to be added to the 40-man roster. That doesn’t include guys outside of the Top 25. Here are some of those players who could also be considered:

  1. Nick Routt – LHP
  2. Zach Vincej – SS
  3. Carlos Gonzalez – RHP
  4. Angelo Gumbs – OF
  5. Ismael Guillon – LHP
  6. Jonathon Crawford – RHP
  7. Chad Wallach – C/1B
  8. Eric Jagielo – 3B/1B
  9. Beau Amaral – CF
  10. Alejandro Chacin – RHP
  11. Wandy Peralta – LHP
  12. Barrett Astin – RHP
  13. Kevin Shackelford – RHP
  14. Jermaine Curtis – IF

Those are some of the other names to consider. Not all of them will be long considerations, but are at least worth a second look. For now, I don’t want to get into breaking down each player, after all, there are 23 players listed here and that would be a very long list to work through in one article. If you’d like to discuss players in the comments, feel free. My plan is to break things down a little bit further over the next few months as we lead up to the time when the organization really needs to start deciding on who they will protect and who they will leave exposed.

As things sit right now, it’s a very big year for a lot of players, as well as for the Reds. When the winter meetings come to an end the organization could be looking at having lost a few players in the Rule 5 draft, which is odd given that they are also likely to have one of the worst records in baseball after the season. The team has been building up a lot of depth over the last 14 months, though, and this is really starting to show in a situation like this.

About The Author

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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