The missing piece is the analysis of which players have been left unprotected, how these players match up with a club's needs and a prioritization of which available players will be targeted in each of the three phases of the draft, the Major League, Triple-A and Double-A.
As noted in one of our earlier articles on the Rule 5 Draft, 2008 is the second year that teams have received an extra year before their players must either be placed onto the 40-man roster or become Rule 5 eligible. Organizations are given four years (for players signed at age 19 or older) and five years (for players signed at 18 and younger) before having to make that decision.
This second article outlines the players recently protected by the Cardinals, shortstop Tyler Greene and reliever Matt Scherer, as well as 10 of the 13 made available in the Major League phase by having not been added to the 40-man roster.
There is one most notable addition to the final list, pitcher Mike Parisi. The right-hander pitched well with Triple-A Memphis, but much less so in his 2008 MLB debut. Expected to be out the entire 2009 season due to Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery means the Cardinals are likely assuming no other organization will claim an injured player and have to carry him all season. He was removed from the 40-man roster and outrighted to Memphis on Thursday.
Rule 5 Draft background
The cost to draft a Triple-A player is $50,000 and that player must be added to the claiming club's Major League roster. He must remain there all season. Otherwise, the drafting club must place the player on waivers where any other club could claim him. The final offer is made to his original organization to return at half the acquisition price. Only then could the player be optioned to the minors.
With the removal of Parisi, the Cardinals are currently at 36 players on their 40-man roster, 37 if/when the deal with Trever Miller is done. This is a crucial point, since only those organizations with room on their 40-man are eligible to make selections in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
Since teams select in reverse order of the previous season's finish, the Cardinals will draft no later than number 18 or 19. However, some organizations will undoubtedly pass, improving St. Louis' position - if they are so inclined to make a selection.
Players taken in the Triple-A and Double-A phases of draft carry prices of $12,000 and $4,000, respectively. Minor leaguers not protected on the Reserve Lists at the Double-A and Single-A levels are eligible.
When Major League clubs submit their Reserve Lists, they want to place players at the highest level possible, thereby making it more costly for another organization to claim the players. When I say "cost", I am talking less about money than I am the roster implications.
Again, an eligible player on a Triple-A roster if selected must be placed the next level up – the Major League 25-man roster. Though one might conclude that Double-A players are supposed to be put on the Triple-A roster, and Single-A selections move up to Double-A, the latter two are not rigidly enforced. Technically, these players must only "be given an opportunity to make the higher classification club".
Across all of MLB, 18 players were taken in the Major League phase of the 2007 Rule 5 draft. 36 players changed organizations in the Triple-A phase and just six in the Double-A draft.
That total of 60 reversed a multi-year downward trend, compared to 46 in 2006 and 56 taken in 2005. That contrasts with 75 players taken in 2004 and 80 in 2003.
Three years ago, the Cardinals selected pitcher Juan Mateo from the Cubs in the Major League phase, but returned him late in 2006 Spring Training, when it was clear he would not crack the 25-man roster. They made no Major League phase selections in 2006. Last year, outfielder Brian Barton, taken from the Cleveland Indians with the tenth pick in the Major League phase, turned into a keeper.
In 2007, the Cardinals neither selected any players nor lost any in the minor league phases. For the second straight year, St. Louis picked up two players in the Triple-A phase of the 2006 draft – a catcher and a middle infielder. Omar Falcon and Jose Contreras were taken, neither of whom remains in the organization. Iker Franco and Vince Harrison were taken the previous year, also both long gone. Clearly, none of these moves were significant.
It should also be noted that the Cardinals lost no players in any phases of at least the last three Rule 5 drafts, despite leaving players like Kyle McClellan, Joe Mather and Jason Motte available two years ago. Relievers Mike Sillman and Matt Scherer, the latter recently added to the 40-man, were among available players not taken in the 2007 Rule 5 Draft.
By the numbers
Of the 16 Cardinals organization players eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft, 13 of them are assigned to Memphis, meaning they would have to be selected in the Major League phase of the draft. Therefore, these players would need to remain on the claiming organization's 25-man Major League roster for the entire 2009 season or be returned for half the original $50,000 claiming fee. That serves as an effective deterrent for taking players who have no chance of contributing.
Only three are on the Springfield roster, eligible to be taken in the Triple-A phase of Rule 5 for a fee of $12,000. No eligible players are on the Cardinals' Single-A or Rookie-level clubs. Therefore, the Cards can lose no one in the Double-A phase of the 2008 Rule 5 draft. Any players in this phase would cost $4,000.
Of the ten pitchers, all are with Memphis. Eight are right-handers, with the exceptions being Joe Rogers, injured most of the 2008 season and just-signed Ian Ostlund. The group is split five and five between starters and relievers.
Three catchers are on the eligible list, the most of any position, with Matt Pagnozzi, Brendan Yarbrough and the newest Cardinal minor leaguer, Justin Knoedler. No infielders are exposed while the three outfielders are all assigned to Double-A Springfield, including former 40-man roster player Cody Haerther.
To reiterate, the Cardinals have made just two minor league free agent signings since the close of the season, Ostlund and Knoedler. Despite the fact they just signed, both are Rule 5 eligible. Odds are that they will not be taken since they had just been free agents a few days ago.
We have the Cardinals Reserve Lists right here!
We will see during the upcoming Rule 5 draft whether the Cardinals lose any players and/or perhaps pick up one or two to fill gaps.
The Cardinals' entire Reserve Lists are below, with club assignments for Rule 5 protection purposes. Remember, this doesn't necessarily have any connection to where the player either finished 2008 or will end up taking the field in 2009, but it does give a feel for the organization's thinking about player hierarchy.
The names of the 16 unprotected players eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft are highlighted in yellow.
|Memphis||Springfield||Palm Beach||Quad Cities|
|Anderson, B||Brown, A||Additon, N||Bolivar, D|
|Cazana-Marti||Buckman, B||Arburr, M||Bradford, J|
|Freese, D||Craig, A||Bilardello, D||Broderick, B|
|Hearne, T||Descalso, D||Bird, R||Castillo, R|
|Hernandez, E||Dew, J||Cartie, B||Chambers, A|
|Jay, J||Dickson, B||Cruz, A||Edwards, J|
|Knoedler, J||Dumont, C||Daman, W||Espinoza, R|
|Maiques, K||Fiske, J||Degerman, E||Fick, C|
|McCormick, M||Furnish, T||Derba, N||Frevert, M|
|Mikrut, J||Garcia, I||DeJesus, A||Gonzalez, D|
|Mortensen, C||Gonzalez, M||Diapoules, M||Hooker, J|
|Ostlund, I||Gregerson, L||Folli, M||Ingram, D|
|Pagnozzi, M||Haerther, C||Freeman, S||Kulik, R|
|Parisi, M||Hamilton, M||Garceau, S||Lynn, M|
|Perdomo, L||Jones, D||Gorsett, L||Maj, J|
|Rasmus, C||Martinez, J||Henley, P||McGregor, S|
|Robinson, S||Mura, K||Herron, T||Murphy, B|
|Rogers, J||Ottavino, A||Hill, S||Oeder, R|
|Sillman, M||Rapoport, J||King, B||Peoples, N|
|Todd, J||Rowlett, C||Kingrey, C||Pham, T|
|Walters, P||Salas, N||Kopp, D||Pupo, C|
|Yarbrough, B||Shorey, M||Kozma, P||Rivera, F|
|Solano, D||Luna, A||Rondon, J|
|Wallace, B||Marmol, O||Sanchez, E|
|Mateo, J||Smith, C|
|Rule 5-eligible||Mulligan, C||Spade, M|
|Norrick, F||Stambaugh, J|
|Parise, P||Vasquez, E|
|Brown, G||Alvarez, H||Babrick, J||Avila, M||Alcala, Y|
|Buursma, J||Arredondo, J||Buck, B||Beras, A||Alvarado, R|
|Cardenas, H||Blazek, M||Calero, J||Cabrera, J||Avendano, J|
|Cardona, I||Bogany, J||Castillo, J||Castellano, A||Bier, D|
|Castellanos, A||Bravo, J||Concepcion, C||Castillo, A||Bolivar, B|
|Curtis, J||Carpenter, D||Cruz, A||De Jesus, A||Brito, D|
|Cutler, C||Castillo, Y||Daley Jr., G||Estalis, E||Cedeno, F|
|De La Cruz, L||Castro, I||Diaz, O||Ferreira, V||Colorado, M|
|Delgado, R||Cawley, J||Ferrara, A||Herrera, K||Corpas, H|
|Eager, T||Cruz, P||Hiraldo, B||Jimenez, C||Cortez, J|
|Garcia, J||Flores, M||Javier, O||Lopez, J||Fonseca, A|
|Gomez, E||Fornataro, E||Medina, G||Martina, H||Garcia, H|
|Gorgen, S||Gonzalez, C||Moscatel, K||Martines, T||Gonzalez, J|
|Hester, J||Gonzalez, R||Mosquera, J||Martinez, M||Guzman, F|
|Landin, J||Hage, J||Munoz, O||Mejia, C||Inojosa, K|
|Lilley, B||Lara, E||Notti, C||Mercedes, J||Jaspe, P|
|Lugo, R||Leach, T||Obregon, T||Pasen, J||Lopez, M|
|Martinez, J||Maertz, S||Ortiz, P||Pena, P||Mannbel, G|
|Mayes II, L||Mateo, L||Penaloza, J||Perez, W||Marquez, F|
|Morales, O||Mitchell, T||Perez, A||Pimentel, L||Marquez, M|
|Nieto, A||Noland, R||Prange, A||Pinard, A||Medina, O|
|Parejo, F||North, M||Rada, J||Polanco, L||Montero, J|
|Peterson, S||Peralta, S||Rosario, R||Reyes, R||Noguera, C|
|Pitts, Z||Pichardo, J||Ruiz, R||Sandoval, S||Oraa, C|
|Reifer, A||Rigoli, J||Russell, Z||Urena, R||Perez, R|
|Richardson, D||Rodriguez, R||Shepherd, D||Uribe, A||Perez, W|
|Riportella, B||Rosales, A||Siegrist, K||Ramos, G|
|Rosa, C||Santos, R||Swinson, M||Rios, G|
|Scruggs, X||Thomas, K||Teran, K||Rivero, A|
|Sedbrook, C||Toribio, G||Solarte, J|
|Swauger, C||Zawacki, B||Vargas, I|
|Tapia, M||Viloria, O|
|Vera, N||Vivas, W|
|Veres, A||Yeguez, C|
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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