Available Cardinals Rule 5 Players by Level

Not all Rule 5-eligible minor leaguers are equal. Some are cheaper and easier to catch and keep.

The other day on my blog, thecardinalnationblog.com, I updated the list of players left unprotected by the St. Louis Cardinals for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. There are 22 eligible players, including 14 pitchers of which one is left-handed. The other eight consist of one catcher, three middle infielders and four outfielders.

There is an important, but rarely discussed factor which dramatically affects which of these players might be most advantageously selected by another organization during the December 10 draft.

Only the players assigned to the Triple-A Memphis reserve list for protection would be eligible for the major league phase of the Rule 5 Draft at a cost of $50,000. Those players would have to remain on the new club's 25-man active major league roster the entire 2010 season or be offered back to the Cardinals at half the purchase price.

There was not room for every player on the Memphis roster, so the Cardinals likely had to make some tradeoffs as to which players they wanted to make most painful for another club to take.

Here is the breakdown of available players by their assigned minor league rosters. This is in contrast to where they actually finished the 2009 season, denoted on the right.

Player Position DOB Draft yr/rd Signed Finished '09
Memphis roster (18)          
Domnit Bolivar SS 05/12/1989   2005 Quad Cities
David Carpenter RHR 07/15/1985 2006 12 2006 Quad Cities
Amaury Cazana OF 09/02/1978 2006 18 2006 Mexico (AAA)
Gary Daley Jr. RHR 11/01/1985 2006 3 2006 Springfield
Brandon Dickson RHS 11/03/1984   2006 Springfield
Brad Furnish LHS   01/19/1985 2006 2   2006 Palm Beach
Marco Gonzalez RHR 05/28/1984   2006 Springfield
Trey Hearne RHS 08/19/1983 2005 28 2005 Springfield
Jose Martinez 2B 01/24/1986   2004 Springfield
Mark McCormick RHS 10/15/1983 2005 1a 2005 Springfield
Kyle Mura RHS 11/24/1984 2006 42 2006 Springfield
Mike Parisi RHS 04/18/1983 2004 9 2004 Arizona Fall
Jose Rada RHS 04/13/1988   2005 Johnson City
Jim Rapoport OF 06/25/1985 2006 35 2006 Springfield
Pedro Rodriguez RHR 10/31/1987   2004 New signee
Matt Shearer RHR   01/20/1983 2004 16   2004 Memphis
Mark Shorey OF 08/13/1984 2006 31 2006 Memphis
Donovan Solano SS 12/17/1987   2005 Memphis
Springfield roster (1)          
Shaun Garceau RHS 08/28/1987 2005 20 2005 Palm Beach
Batavia roster (3)          
Ivan Castro C 11/17/1987   2005 Batavia
Edwin Gomez OF 03/10/1988   2005 Batavia
Andres Rosales RHS 06/13/1988   2004 Batavia

Four of the 22 eligible players have been stationed on the Double-A Springfield roster or lower. These players will cost less for another organization to select, $12,000 and $4,000 respectively. Most importantly, these players do not have to be added to the major league roster if taken in the Rule 5.

Effectively, these players do not have to the returned even if they are later demoted so there is very little risk in another organization taking them.

A recent example is outfielder Cody Haerther. One year ago, the Cardinals placed him on the Springfield reserve roster. He was then taken by Toronto in the Triple-A phase of the 2008 Rule 5 Draft and as a result, was essentially gone forever from the Cardinals organization.

I don't see any of the Memphis players as prime targets for other organizations, though someone may take a shot at Mike Parisi, a pitcher with MLB experience. Any of the four players at Springfield and Batavia are clearly fair game.

Update: This week's signing of infielder Ruben Gotay to a minor league contract adds another to the Memphis eligible roster.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at mailto:brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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