Minor League Free Agents and Rule 5-Eligibles

Eight players inked to new deals with the Cards and more coming.

The official signing period for minor league free agents opened on Saturday and the Cardinals have already went to work, signing right handed pitcher Victor Moreno. They have also re-signed seven other players to 2006 contracts.

Moreno, 25, spent the 2005 season with Triple-A Sacramento after being acquired by the Oakland A's in the Triple-A phase of last year's Rule-5 Draft from the Minnesota Twins. He posted a 4.50 ERA in 49 appearances for the River Cats. Signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1997, Moreno has also spent time in the Phillies and Angels organizations.

As Brian Walton first reported a few days ago, the Cardinals have re-signed seven players to 2006 contracts. Along with Andy Cavazos and Gabe Johnson, who are currently playing in the Arizona Fall League, they have also resigned left hander Randy Leek, 2004 Triple-A Rule 5 pick-up, right-hander Jose Garcia, outfielder Brian Martin, shortstop Milko Jaramillo and first baseman Juan Diaz.

Speaking of the Rule 5 Draft, the Cardinals have over 50 players that will be eligible (see list below) to be drafted on December 8 at the Winter Meetings.

There are three phases to the Rule-5 Draft: Major League, Triple-A, and Double-A. Here are some tips that might help you understand the draft better:

• Players who were 18 or younger on the June 5 preceding the signing of their first contract must be protected after four "contract" seasons.

• Players who were 19 or older on the June 5 preceding the signing of their first contract must be protected after three "contract" seasons.

• To select a player in the major league portion of the draft, a team must pay $50,000 to the team that they are selecting the player from. The player must stay on the active 25-man roster or the 15-day DL for the entire season, or be offered back to his former team for $25,000.

• A player that is returned must first be placed on waivers, so it is possible that a third club can claim the player. The claiming club would then be responsible to the same rules placed upon the team that drafted him in the Rule 5 draft.

• Teams must file their 40-man rosters by Nov. 20, and only those not at the full allotment of 40 may select players in the Major League portion.

• Teams select in reverse order of that season's finish, with the American and National leagues alternating the No. 1 pick from year to year. Therefore, the Cardinals will hold the last pick this year.

• There are Triple-A and Double-A segments of the Rule 5 draft, with price tags of $12,000 and $4,000 respectively.

• Players on Triple-A rosters are protected from the minor league rule-5 draft. The Triple-A draft selects players from Double-A rosters and the Double-A draft selects players from Class A rosters.

• Players selected in the minor league portion of the draft can be sent down to lower levels without being offered back to their original team.

Following is the list of Rule-5 Eligible players and Minor League free agents for the Cardinals:

Rule-5 Eligible
Tyler Adamczyk
Miguel Aguero
Josh Axelson
Buddy Blair
Shaun Boyd
Andy Cavazos
Steward Chacin
Jeremy Cook
Carlos De La Cruz
Juan Diaz
Sandy Diaz
Dennis Dove
Cory Doyne
Matt Dryer
Kevin Estrada
Terry Evans
Jose Garcia
Justin Garza
Alberto Guerrero
Travis Hanson
Blake Hawksworth
Tim Hummel
Milko Jaramillo
Gabe Johnson
Josh Kinney
Rayner Laya
Randy Leek
Matt Lemanczyk
Juan Lucena
Brian Martin
Joe Mather
Kyle McClellan
Mike McCoy
Dennis Medina
Mark Michael
Victor Moreno
Jason Motte
Dan Moylan
John Nelson
Kevin Ool
Matt Pagnozzi
Jordan Pals
Ty Parker
Jackson Paz
Anthony Rawson
Chris Russ
Brendan Ryan
John Santor
Rich Scalamandre
Andy Shutzenhofer
Yonathon Sivira
Eric Verbryke
Matt Weagle

Minor League Free Agents
Chad Allen
Oscar Alvarez
Alan Benes
Roberto Batista
Brandon Berger
Papo Bolivar
Robinson Cancel
Jeremy Cummings
Brad Cresse
Brian Falkenborg
Chris Gissell
Raul Gonzalez
Aaron Herr
Jimmy Journell
David Lee
Jose Mendez
Tyler Minges
Joe Nelson
Mark Nussbeck
Josh Pearce
Reggie Taylor
Pete Zoccolillo

Join the discussion at our Message Forum.

E-mail: jasonscott@thecardinalnation.com

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