The White Sox can only protect some of their new prospects. Here’s a look at the latest roster moves.
The Rule 5 draft happens every December and for some it’s a non-issue. But for teams like the White Sox it is an opportunity to add to their roster.
However, it’s also an opportunity for other teams to claim a prospect from the Sox growing list. First, let’s take a look at exactly WHAT the Rule 5 draft is.
How does the Rule 5 work?
The Rule 5 draft was basically created to give players that have been with teams for 4-5 years in their minor league system a chance to prove themselves with another organization. Any player that was drafted at age 18 or earlier and has played professionally for five years is eligible to be in the Rule 5 draft. Same with players drafted at age 19 or higher with four years of professional service.
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Once they have that much service time, they must either be placed on that teams 40-man roster or be available for any other team to “draft”. Like the amateur draft in June, it goes in reverse order of standings. The team claiming the unprotected player must also pay the team losing the player $100,000 and must remain on the 25-man roster for the entire next season.
If not, the player must go through waivers and if he passes through them, the player must be offered back to the original team for $50,000. Confusing? A little. The most important thing to remember is that any player not on the 40 man that has been in pro-ball for 4-5 years is eligible to be snapped up by any team.
How does it affect the White Sox prospects?
First of all, players like Nick Madrigal, Jake Burger, Zack Collins and others drafted in the last few years are not going to be lost to another team this year. However, players like Seby Zavala, Jordan Stephens, Dylan Cease, Ian Clarkin, Spencer Adams, and Kodi Medeiros are on the hook.
So, that means the White Sox have to either add them to their 40-man roster now or risk losing them. So, let’s take a look at the moves the Sox have made in the last 24-48 hours.
Who was added to the 40-man roster:
Who wasn’t added to the 40-man roster:
- The Cubs immediately claimed Clarkin off waivers, so he must stay on their 25-man roster in 2019.
- Adams and Thompson have not been claimed by other teams.
- The promotion of Zavala was an expected decision. With his performance last year and the loss of Kevan Smith to the Angels, he became a valuable piece in the catching puzzle for the immediate future.
- Cease was a no-brainer of course. No need for analysis on that one.
- Kodi Medeiros was acquired from the Brewers in the Soria trade and the ChiSox feel he could be an important left-handed member of a future dominant bullpen.
- Jordan Stephens being added to the 40-man seems to indicate that he could have the inside track to the fifth rotation spot on 2019 team.
Currently, the Sox 40-man roster stands at 38. So, this gives them a lot of flexibility for trades and free-agent signings this winter. The Sox have two available roster spots and there are two prime free agents they have been rumored to want. While it would be amazing to even think of those possibilities, the more likely scenario is some lesser-tier free agents coming our way. But, don’t count out Rick Hahn and company on the hooking some big fish this off-season.
This ain’t your Dad’s White Sox. It’s the new, rebuilding, and hopefully big-spending White Sox of 2019!!!