Rosters must be set by tomorrow (I don’t know if they need to be set by tonight at 11:59pm or by some point during Tuesday) to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft. The draft will take place December 6th and a team can select an eligible, unprotected player for the sum of $50,000 and must keep them on the 25 man roster all season or return the player to their original team along with $25,000. It is a rather cheap way to add talent, but it is also often a very risky thing as you are selecting guys who have some talent, but have enough questions about them that the team who has been molding their talents didn’t think they warranted even being on the 40 man roster at this point in time. The two biggest names to come in the modern version of the Rule 5 draft was when the Reds paid the Cubs to draft Josh Hamilton for them and when the Twins snatched up Johan Santana from the Astros.

The guys who are eligible for the Reds this year if left unprotected would be anyone who signed at age 19 and has been a professional for 4 or more years or anyone who signed at 18 or younger and has been a professional for 5 or more years. That means from the drafted players any college player selected in 2009 or earlier or a high school player selected in 2008 or earlier.

Here is the list of guys who are eligible and I believe have even an ounce of a chance of being selected:

Player POS Quick Scouting Report
Brian Pearl RHP RP with low 90s FB, big GB guy, AA was a hurdle this year.
Carlos Contreras
RHP RP with big fastball, plus change up.
Curtis Partch RHP RP with big fastball, mid 80’s slider. Strong results as RP in 2012.
Daniel Corcino RHP SP with quality FB, SL and CH.
Ismael Guillon LHP SP with 2 above-average pitches and a 3rd workable one.
Josh Fellhauer OF Good defender, good hit tool, perhaps platoon guy though.
Josh Ravin RHP RP with triple digit FB, solid curve. Control can be an issue at times.
Juan Duran OF Some of the best raw power in the minor leagues.
Justin Freeman RHP RP with average FB velo, strong control, slider and change.
Mark Serrano RHP RP with average FB velo, above-average SL, solid control.
Nick Christiani RHP RP with low 90s FB, GB guy, struggled to miss bats at AAA level.
Theo Bowe OF One of the fastest runners in baseball, good defense.
Tim Crabbe RHP Likely a RP with solid FB, cutter/slider, curve and change.
Travis Mattair 3B Good athlete with power, good defensive tools.
Yorman Rodriguez OF Best package of tools in the Reds system.

Who should be protected?

That is a tough question. Right now, the Reds 40 man roster sits at 33 players. That leaves 7 spots open, but I doubt the Reds will protect 7 players as it leaves them no room at all in free agency. Though I would think they still have a guy or two that they could remove without fear of losing (Negron, particularly coming off of an ACL injury or Denis Phipps who hit .221 in AAA). To me, there is one absolute LOCK on the list. Daniel Corcino will be protected, without an ounce of doubt. After that, it gets interesting.

Yorman Rodriguez has a huge signing bonus and still has tools that no one can match. Despite merely an ok performance during 2012 with Dayton, I believe he will be protected even though I don’t think anyone would select him. Ismael Guillon is only eligible because he had his original contract voided and signed a second contract, thus meaning he has been eligible since he began playing. I would protect him, though I am still unsure if the Reds will. He fits the profile of a guy who gets picked each year: A very good left handed arm from the low minors who you could easily put in your bullpen and use once a week in order to simply acquire his talent. Josh Ravin has had his struggles with control since he signed, but he also goes stretches of time where he controls the zone, showing that he could turn that corner. He had a strong AFL showing and his fastball sits 97-100 MPH. I would protect him and if somehow he goes unprotected, I can’t imagine a team not selecting him. Curtis Partch is another big fastball guy, as he averaged 97 MPH in the AFL this year. As a starter he struggled in 2012, but he was rather dominant out of the bullpen once the move was made to pitch him there. I would protect him as well. Josh Fellhauer is the last guy I would truly consider protecting. He brings good defense to the table in the corners and can play center field if you need him to do so and while he may be limited to being a platoon type of guy, he is a left hander which means he could provide you production on most days. I would protect him, but I could see a scenario where he goes unprotected and also undrafted because his tools don’t really “wow” anyone and for whatever reason solid guys without “wow” tools go unselected while raw tools guys in Low-A get picked left and right (Jeremy Horst is a big example here as he went unselected twice despite outstanding upper minor numbers and finally has been given a chance over the last 14 months in the Majors and now has a 1.74 ERA in 46.2 innings out of the bullpen for the Phillies).

I would protect those six players, which would only leave room for one free agent without exposing someone else to waivers. But, I would worry about that situation if and when it shows up. Who would you protect? Who would you leave unprotected?

14 Responses

  1. sultan of swaff

    The top 7 on your list are who I would protect. If I have to drop one, it would be Fellhauer, but you could also argue that Pearl is redundant because Partch and Ravin have more impressive arms.

    YRod is such a mess and is so young, I can’t see anyone taking him. This isn’t a Wily Mo Pena situation

    • Doug Gray

      The rationale I have heard with protecting guys like Yorman is that if you don’t, you are basically telling your boss that you screwed up when you paid so much money for them. That is why guys like him get protected, even if there is no real shot that someone takes them. It makes sense and it happens just about every year throughout the game.

  2. sultan of swaff

    MLB trade rumors says the Royals are listening on all their core guys, including Alex Gordon and Wil Myers. Both would fill holes for the Reds. Who would you rather have and what would you give?

    I’d take Myers and give Corcino, Leake, and Cozart/Didi.

    • Doug Gray

      I have absolutely no clue as to why they would trade Wil Myers. I don’t think your package would get it done for him. That said, I would prefer Myers, he is cheaper and projects better, but I don’t know what I would trade for him.

  3. poorolddad

    As much as I’d like to see the Reds pry Giancarlo Stanton loose from the Marlins, I’m not sure if they’re serious about trading him and the bidding war would be intense. Would the Reds try to “buy low” on a guy like Logan Morrison? Would a change of scenery get him pointed in the right direction? Is he an average defender in LF, at least?

    • KyWilson1

      If they could get him for very little, a Morrison trade wouldnt hurt my feelings, but i wouldnt give up anything worth while to get him. Also wouldnt mind the Reds kicking the tires to see how mush Ichiro would cost on a 1-2 year contract.

  4. Norwood Nate

    Corcino is a no brainer. I’d also think that Ravin and Partch would be good bets because they have the fastball to play out of the BP right now, and had relatively good showings in the AFL. You would hate to lose Guillon, but at the same time, he’s only pitched in low A ball as of now. Being on the 40-man means his clock starts this year. You’d lose at least two, if not all his option years by protecting him now. I think it’s better to be safe than sorry with him, as he’s shown flashes of being a solid pitcher, and a SP at that.

    After those, I think Fellhauer is the position player I’d protect. Those are the 5 I’d protect for sure.

    I’m not sure I’d use a spot on YRod yet, it’s hard to see anyone wasting a spot on their bench for him for a whole year, especially when he couldn’t handle High A last year. I might think about protecting Crabbe or Mattair just because I think they bring value to the organization. But neither are highly likely to be picked up either.

  5. wanderinredsfan

    I see no need to protect Fellhauer. I’d rather protect Crabbe. He has racked up a bunch of innings this season and is quite durable. I really like his fastball-slider combination. If he can hone a change-up, he could be quite valuable.

    • Doug Gray

      Looking at the 40 man roster right now our outfielders are: Stubbs, Heisey, Bruce, Paul, Negron, Lutz and Phipps.

      Without question, for 2013, Fellhauer is an upgrade over Negron, Lutz and Phipps.

      • wanderinredsfan

        I’m not sure about that. I think I would rather have Phipps and/or Lutz, even going into spring.

  6. MK

    A lot of money tied up in Juan Duran.He might be protected for the same reason as Yorman.

  7. MK

    Saw this list of potential Rule 5’s on another site: Beau Mills, Travis Mattair, Curtis Partch, Cody Puckett, Andrew Means, Blaine Howell, Theo Bowe, Justin Freeman, Mark Fleury, Mark Serrano, Josh Fellhauer, Brian Pearl, Nick Christiani, Tim Crabbe, Jamie Walczak Yovan Gonzalez, Stalin Gerson, Radhames Quezada, Danny Vicioso, Jesus Adames, Wilfrel Estevez, Jefry Sierra, Carlos Contreras, Daniel Corcino, Juan Duran