Rule 5 Surprise: Potential Impact Arms For the Phillies In the Upcoming Draft

December 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

In recent years, the Philadelphia Phillies have made most of their offseason noise in big trades and free agent signings, bringing names like Roy Halladay, Placido Polanco, Raul Ibanez and Brad Lidge to the City of Brotherly Love. However, in the past, the Phillies structured their roster in different ways, including a plethora of minor league deals, trading big names for young potential, spending heavily on the first year player draft and taking a gamble in the Rule 5 Draft. Which, in recent years, has landed All-Star outfielder Shane Victorino and long-relief man David Herndon.

Though the Rule 5 Draft has changed over the course of Major League Baseball history, the concept has remained the same—prevent teams from stockpiling players in their minor league system when other teams are willing to give them a chance to play at the Major League level. When the following conditions are met, a player becomes unprotected, and is then exposed to the rest of the league.

  • If signed at age 18 or younger and the player has been in the organization for five years, he is eligible.
  • If signed at age 19 or older and the player has been in the organization for four years, he is eligible.
  • The player is not added to the Major League organization’s 40-man roster.

Drafting a player is not free, however. Any team that wants to take a gamble on a player must keep two very strategic conditions in mind: Are they willing to pay the $50,000 fee and are they willing to keep this player on their Major League roster for an entire season?

The rules of the Rule 5 Draft states that once a player is drafted, he must remain on the Major League club for the entirety of the forthcoming season. If a team wants to demote him, they must first offer said player back to his former team. If the former team denies to accept the player back, or a team keeps the player on their Major League roster for the entire season, they are then able to option him to the minor leagues.

The Rule 5 Draft is a calculated risk. Recent history has shown that the risk is well worth the reward, however, as names like Johan Santana, Evan Meek, Dan Uggla, Joakim Soria and Shane Victorino, all taken in the Rule 5 Draft, have flourished into all-stars. 

So with that in mind, the following five pitchers could all contribute to the Phillies some way in 2011, but will any of them be a true diamond in the rough?

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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