Last week we began looking at the various groups of players who would be eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason if left unprotected. We began by looking at the infielders. This week we move on to the outfielders.

Among position players there are generally two types of guys who get selected: The high upside, but raw player. These guys tend to be unprotected because a team believes they are too raw to stick in the Majors and will go unselected. Teams, however, are willing to give it a shot at times. Last year the Padres worked out a pick-and-trade with the Reds to grab Luis Torrens. He was a 21-year-old catcher who barely played in Low-A. But, he’s got plenty of potential and the Padres, going nowhere in 2017, kept him around all year. The other type of player is one who is close to the Majors and can fill a role of need. These are usually guys who may be starter capable, but can fill a nice bench role, too.

Among the outfielders that will be eligible, there are not many options that are really in the discussion for being protected. There are only six total outfielders that will be eligible: Michael Beltre, Narciso Crook, Sebastian Elizalde, Tyler Goeddel, Reydel Medina, and Jose Siri. Among that group there’s only one guy that stands out as one who would warrant protecting. You could possibly make the case for a second player.

Tyler Goeddel

Why he would be selected: He’s actually been selected in the Rule 5 draft before. The Phillies drafted, and kept him on their roster for the entire 2016 season. Things didn’t go well in the Majors, but he returned to the minors in 2017 with the Reds who picked him up on waivers prior to the season. After a slow start he picked things up in the final third of the season. In 43 games in Triple-A after a promotion in late July, he hit .302/.388/.403 with 18 walks and 26 strikeouts to go along with six stolen bases.

Why he would go unpicked: Despite his strong finish, the then 24-year-old didn’t stand out much during the year. In total, split between Double-A and Triple-A he hit .259 with a .738 OPS. There are some tools there, but it’s harder to dream on them at 25, and his production wasn’t outstanding in the upper minors at an age where he was older than your average prospect at the levels he played.

Jose Siri

Why he would be selected: Despite being a player who has not yet played in Advanced-A, he’s an ultra toolsy player. He could fill a role on a bench in the Major Leagues now as a 5th outfielder. Jose Siri’s ability to come off of the bench to steal bases or just be a pinch runner would be useful. Toss in that he could also provide big time defensive value and cover center, left and right fields makes him an ideal 5th outfielder. His power could also play in the right match ups in the Majors.

Why he would go unpicked: This is a tough one, because I think he would get selected. But, the reasons teams could pass on him is due to his inexperience above the Midwest League and while improving, raw approach at the plate. His 33 walks and 130 strikeouts for Dayton likely suggests that Major League pitchers would overmatch him most of the time in 2018.

Who to protect from this group

I believe it’s going to be Jose Siri from the group of outfielders that gets protected. Everyone else is likely to remain eligible and go undrafted. The guys in the upper minors either don’t have the production or the tools that usually lead to a selection, and the younger guys with the tools were either hurt and missed almost the entire year (Crook) or struggled to perform (Beltre) in Low-A. I’m just not sure there’s any risk of anyone other than Siri being selected from this group.

After looking at the infield and outfield groups, the list of players that I would protect now is up to three: Jose Siri among the outfielders, and Shed Long and Alex Blandino among the infielders.

32 Responses

  1. Shamrock

    Random Thoughts
    Tony Cingrani is in the World Series. He’s thrown 2 scoreless innings so far this postseason after posting a sub 3 (2.79) Era for the Dodgers post trade.
    Anybody feel we may have dropped the ball on this one?

    • Bill

      Absolutely not. He simply wasn’t producing with the Reds and was due a pay raise through arbitration this off-season. As such, he was a strong candidate to be non-tendered a contract. Rather than go that route, the Reds picked up a Rookie level prospect. In my opinion, the trade served as a wake-up call for Cingrani who became more willing to make adjustments with the trade.

      • Cguy

        Toni carried a 4.14 ERA in 2016 appearing in 65 games (63 innings). Pre ASB in 2017 Cingrani had a 2.70 ERA in 18 games. After the ASB, he appeared in 7 games, had a horrid 12.15 ERA & was traded for next to nothing. Cingrani has a career ERA of under 4.00. Now he’s a part of the Dodgers WS bullpen. Reds dropped the ball, missed the boat, & were taken to the cleaners. By the way, Cingrani was tutored by Bryan Price during his entire career with the Reds either as his pitching coach or manager.

      • redleggingfordayz

        From everything I can infer, Cingrani was not a fit for the clubhouse mentality at the time, and his arbitration salary was not going to be worth it for the Reds. Stop trying to make this into a bigger deal than it is. He is a useful player and I am glad he has done better with the Dodgers. There is no reason to keep a player of his caliber on a club that is maybe going to be at .500 next year.

      • Doug Gray

        Tough to say he was traded for next to nothing. Hendrik Clementina isn’t nothing.

  2. Alex

    I’d feel really comfortable with not protecting Siri. The hit steak and that looks nice. Age and sliders…… Doug your awesome. But I think you just love you some Siri lol. The idea of someone keeping Siri in their ML 25 man I think is crazy. Age and sliders. He would not get picked. I think this is another scenario each year where we way over value our minor leaguers vs the rest of the league.

    • Bill

      While I’m not sold that Siri will every be a major league starter with the Reds based on his plate approach, I agree with Doug that he would be pretty easy to stash on a 25-man roster for a non-contender with his plus speed, defense, arm and power. He’s high risk, but if he has one more year of improvement in his plate approach, he’s a 5-tool star. If left unprotected, I would expect several teams to show some love for Siri in the Rule 5 draft.

    • Doug Gray

      The Padres kept Luis Torrens on their roster all season. He literally had 164 at-bats in full season baseball before he was drafted and he hit: .230 /.348/.317

      Torrens doesn’t have the tools Siri does. He can play catcher, so that plays well, but Siri can play center so you aren’t exactly going backwards much on the defensive side of that. But Siri, unlike Torrens, actually produced above rookie ball.

      I feel confident he’d be taken. I also feel very confident that the Reds will protect him.

  3. Wes

    Check the archives. I got dodgers over astros. Doug u got my address to send me that signed hunter Greene ball u promised?

  4. Kap

    Maybe Siri will be part of a trade before the rule 5 draft… Heard AJ Pollock may be available this off season due to the fact the Diamondbacks want to shed some payroll.

    • Wes

      What’s a 29 yr old injury prone pollock worth? I wouldn’t be too interested if I was reds. Reds got a lot of players Arizona should be interested in.

      Idk bout helping them shed salary but we can give em a couple MLB ready guys like scooter and schebler then they can shed contracts elsewhere. Really like that duplainter prospect they got

      • Kap

        He would cost less in terms of prospects than Yelich would, although He is not as good. Anything to upgrade Billy as they are both injury prone…

  5. Norwood Nate

    Siri seems to be a pretty obvious pick to be protected. Goeddel falls into that category of guys who I think it would be nice to protect if you had the space, similar to LaValley and Reyes for me. If the Reds trade an OF this winter and don’t return one, it’s very likely that the Reds start with Ervin and Kivlehan on the bench. That means Aquino and Siri are the only OFers on the 40-man roster for depth/injury. A guy like Goeddel who can cover all three OF spots would be a valuable insurance piece to have in AAA. But, I’m not sure he’s likely to be picked up again, so hopefully he’ll stick in the organization.

  6. Billy

    I’ve always liked Elizalde. I’ve always thought of him as having been a decent hitter with sufficient plate discipline throughout the minors, and he spent last season at AAA. I wouldn’t protect him because I think we’ve got better players that need protecting, but could he be someone that a team might pick up as a 4th OF or is there just not enough power in his profile to make that work for teams?

    • Doug Gray

      I just don’t think that bat works as a corner guy in the Majors right now.

  7. kyblu50

    Trade Billy Hamilton Sign center fielder Jarrod Dyson for three years.
    What do you think Seattle would give us for Hamilton? Dyson plays better and a lot cheaper than other fielders and can fill in until we get better.

    • Kap

      I would be ok with that. Better than Billy at the plate for sure plus he would be cheaper probably

      • kyblu50

        Dyson is a free agent. I Hope a little cheaper than Billy. Could Maybe get at least three top 10 rookie players or better.

  8. Michael B. Green

    Doug:

    I completely agree with your assessment of protecting Siri, Long and Blandino. In order to do that, I think trades will need to happen as it is a challenge (but not impossible) to keep Ervin, Aquino and Siri in addition to the regular OF’s. It also makes it hard to keep Kivlehan on the 40MR.

    • Norwood Nate

      My understanding is that once 60-Day guys return and FA’s come off the roster is at 37. Remove Vincej and Wallach and that brings the roster to 35. Add Long, Blandino, Siri, Lopez, and Weiss and we’re at a full 40. Guys like Adelman or McGuire would likely come off before Aquino or especially Ervin, whom I don’t see being in any danger of being cut.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think Kivlehan is on the 40-man come December.

  9. MK

    In the age of 12 and 13 man pitching staffs I am both sure their is room on many teams for a guy to just pinch run and play defense. If he can not be a strong hitter the guy needs to be a guy like Alcantara who can run play descent defense at multiple positions. Other than super defense I think Friedl and Trammel bring more to the table and are on practically the same time table. So I would not waste a 40-man spot on Siri, this year.

    • Doug Gray

      If you don’t protect Siri, you are selling him off for $125,000. He’s worth significantly more than that. If you aren’t going to protect him, you need to trade him immediately because you’re going to get far more value in return for him than chump change.

  10. MK

    Here is a dumb question I don’t know the answer to. Can the Reds DFA Homer Bailey and assign him tonLouisville? To get him off 40-man. Can not imagine anyone picking up that contract especially with his injury history, like the Reds did with Gennett. And, I can not imagine he would select free agency and leave all the guaranteed money on the table.

    • greg

      I’m pretty sure he has the right to refuse to be sent down even if DFA’d.

      • Michael Smith

        Correct, then the reds are on the hook for the whole contract and he can sign with anyone if my understanding is correct.

    • MK

      I understand he can refuse and elect free agency and any signing team would have to do is pay the minimum and the Reds the rest, but he might accept the demotion if he is assured he would make the team and be added back to the roster out of Spring Training. He is going to make the same money either way, with much less turmoil in his life. Maybe Reds could sweeten the financial pot if it means keeping an important prospect. Probably against the rules but it would be worth a discussion.

      • Bill

        I think he would simply decline the outright assignment as a player with 3 years of ML service time has the right to do and sign a 1-year, incentive laden free agent contract. The Reds would still pay the $49M remaining on his contract. The only way another team would pay any portion of the $49M is if they were to claim him on waivers before Homer elected FA in lieu of the outright assignment.

  11. davidmac84

    To put the starting pitching market in perspective: Jered Weaver signed a 3 mil dollar contract last year. Homer improved every month this year(Sept/OCT) is FIP was under 4. He was healthy and his FB average was 93.5. Not that a DFA would ever happen but if it did Homer would have alot of suitors this offseason.

  12. Jim Delaney

    I am not arguing the Cingrani trade and the return but I would be interested to know how the Dodgers are handling him and if they made any changes with how he throws the ball or any of his pitches. Cingrani pitching well is another reason why I was FOR making changes with the Manager and coaching staff. I think new voices are needed, to help foster a winning attitude…. I think the current players are under the PRICE effect and malaise that comes with Bryan Price….