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Two fun things about the Rule 5 draft

Dec 6, 2012, 10:41 AM EDT

mystery man

The Rule 5 draft just went down. None of the picks seem all that exciting or interesting to me, but here are two fun things I learned about it in the past 12 hours:

As you probably know, players selected in the Rule 5 draft have to remain on the 25-man roster all season after being selected. If not, they are offered back to their original team at a nominal fee. Lots of teams find out that they really can’t carry their Rule 5 selectees on the roster, but do want to keep them in the organization. So, historically, a lot of Rule 5 draftees find themselves “injured” at some point early in the season and wind up on the disabled list, where they (a) don’t take up a roster spot; but (b) aren’t subject to being taken back by their old team.

I spoke with a team official last night about all of this, and he told me that the good old days of hiding guys on the DL with phantom injuries is over. MLB sent a memo out to the entire league telling them that they will be checking out Rule 5s who are disabled to make sure it’s legit.  So, sadly, we may see a lot less “dead arm” and tendinitis this year.

Second fun thing: I asked the same team official about their plans for the Rule 5. Specifically, how one goes about identifying minor league Rule 5 guys who no one has ever heard of.  After talking about how great their scouts are and how hard everyone works, the team official said: “we are about 90% sure that a guy we’re looking at in the late rounds actually exists.”

I think he was joking.  Almost positive he was joking.  OK, he may not have been joking.

  1. stex52 - Dec 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Like I said on another thread, the Astros don’t need fake injuries. He may already be the star of the team by showing up.

    • cur68 - Dec 6, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      Hey Stex, do you recall a story about some kid in high school that was an invention of the school newspaper? I think the story was something about one of the kids who wrote for the paper invented this fictional student in the fall, wrote about him all year, and by spring an MLB team was trying to sign this fabricated saint/student. I think the stories were all like “Joe Shlabotnik scored 4 runs and had six hits again…then rescued a cat out of a burning tree using a popsicle stick and some gum.” You remember this one? If I haven’t totally lost my so called mind, I think that’s why this Mystery Team Official is saying “90% certain he exists”.

  2. zzalapski - Dec 6, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    “I’ve never heard of half of these guys and the ones I do know are way past their prime.”
    “Most of these guys never had a prime.”
    “This guy here is dead!”
    “Cross him off, then!”

    • chumthumper - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      Gee, I really like “Major League” references.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Late rounds? Does he mean round 2? These things usually do not go much longer.

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