The 2018 Rule 5 Draft: Here’s What You Need to Know

With the 40-man roster deadline past us, Major League teams have selected which players they would like to protect ahead of this year’s annual Rule 5 Draft. This is of particular interest for White Sox fans because of the players that were protected and the ones at risk of being lost. Below is a guide for what you need to know ahead of next month’s draft.


What is the Rule 5 Draft?

The Rule 5 Draft is a player draft that occurs each year during the Winter Meetings in December. The purpose of holding this draft is to prevent certain teams from accumulating too many players in their minor league system.


Which players are eligible to be selected?

This is always a common question that fans have when it comes to the Rule 5 draft. The main players who are eligible are those who are not on their current Major League team’s 40-man roster and were either:

  • signed when they were 19 or older and have played in professional baseball for four years.
  • signed at 18 years old and have played for five years.

Likewise, those players who are not eligible to be picked up in the draft are those who were added to their organization’s 40-man roster. These players are considered “protected.”

For the White Sox, their complete 40-man roster can be viewed here. The top players who the club added and therefore protected ahead of the deadline were:

Again, these players cannot be selected by another organization during the draft. With the following roster moves, the White Sox 40-man roster is now set at 38.


Which players from the White Sox organization are at the highest risk of being selected?

Two notable players left off the 40-man roster who have the highest risk of being selected are Zach Thompson and Spencer Adams.

Zach Thompson has been with the organization since 2014, playing for the Great Falls Voyagers, Kannapolis Intimidators, Winston-Salem Dash, and the Birmingham Barons. The 6’7″ right-hander put together a solid 2018 campaign by going 6-1 with a 1.55 ERA, 76 strikeouts, 29 walks, and 1.142 WHIP in 75.1 innings of work (43 appearances) split across High-A and Double-A.

Spencer Adams is currently ranked 26th in the organization, according to MLB Pipeline. Like Thompson, Adams has been with the organization since 2014. He has played with the Arizona Rookie White Sox, Kannapolis Intimidators, Winston-Salem Dash, Birmingham Barons, and Charlotte Knights during his stint. Last season, the right-hander split time between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, posting a combined 7-13 record with a 3.79 ERA, 95 strikeouts, 58 walks, and 1.384 WHIP in 159.0 IP. He started in all 28 games in which he appeared.

For any Major League clubs in search of pitching, either arm would make a nice addition to the farm system.


What happens if a player is selected in the Rule 5 Draft?

If a team selects a player during the Rule 5 draft, then they are required to pay that player’s original team $50,000. However, the selected player must also fulfill the following requirements:

  • Remain on the Major League team’s 25-man roster for the entire upcoming season.
  • Remain active for a minimum of 90 days.

If the player does not remain on the Major League roster, he must be offered back to his original team at half-price for $25,000. If the player’s original team does not want him back, then the player can be waived by his current team.

Additionally, teams have the option of trading a player selected in the Rule 5 Draft. The aforementioned rules would still apply to the new team that acquires the player.


What is the draft order for the 2018 Rule 5 Draft?

The draft order for the Rule 5 is based on the results of the MLB regular season standings. The teams with the least amount of wins will select first. Keep in mind, if a team does not have any open roster spots on its 40-man, then they may not make a selection.

  1. Baltimore Orioles
  2. Kansas City Royals
  3. Chicago White Sox
  4. Miami Marlins
  5. Detroit Tigers
  6. San Diego Padres
  7. Cincinnatti Reds
  8. Texas Rangers
  9. San Francisco Giants
  10. Toronto Blue Jays
  11. New York Mets
  12. Minnesota Twins
  13. Philadelphia Phillies
  14. Los Angeles Angels
  15. Arizona Diamondbacks
  16. Washington Nationals
  17. Pittsburgh Pirates
  18. St. Louis Cardinals
  19. Seattle Mariners
  20. Atlanta Braves
  21. Tampa Bay Rays
  22. Colorado Rockies
  23. Cleveland Indians
  24. Los Angeles Dodgers
  25. Chicago Cubs
  26. Milwaukee Brewers
  27. Oakland Athletics
  28. New York Yankees
  29. Houston Astros
  30. Boston Red Sox

When is the Rule 5 Draft?

The 2018 MLB Rule 5 Draft will be held on Thursday, December 13 during the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.


For more updates, be sure to follow us on social media @SoxOn35th.

Featured Photo: Laura Wolff / @LauraWolffPhoto

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