Friday, November 18, 2005

The Rule V Draft

Today is the deadline for all MLB teams to set their 40-man rosters for the upcoming Rule V draft. For an explanation on how exactly the draft is conducted, click here.

As of right now, the 40-Man Roster currently has the following 33 players listed.

46 Mike Adams
57 Jeff Bennett
52 Jose Capellan
39 Chris Capuano
49 Doug Davis
51 Kane Davis
47 Jorge De La Rosa
37 Dana Eveland
58 Gary Glover
40 Ben Hendrickson
70 Mike Jones
43 Justin Lehr
33 Wes Obermueller
55 Tomo Ohka
71 Dennis Sarfate
15 Ben Sheets
59 Derrick Turnbow
38 Matt Wise
26 Damian Miller
21 Chad Moeller
31 Russell Branyan
28 Prince Fielder
2 Bill Hall
7 J.J. Hardy
11 Lyle Overbay
23 Rickie Weeks
27 Brady Clark
8 Nelson Cruz
1 Corey Hart
5 Geoff Jenkins
10 Dave Krynzel
45 Carlos Lee
74 Brad Nelson

Among the players the Brewers need to consider for the 40-man over the next couple of days, otherwise they risk losing them in Rule 5:

UT Vinny Rottino
MR Mitch Stetter
SS Enrique Cruz
CF Tony Gwynn, Jr.
LHP Manny Parra
SP Ty Taubenheim
SP Carlos Villanueva
CF Steve Moss
C Lou Palmisano
2B Hernan Iribarren

It seems as if teams in the past have gone into the Rule V draft with an "all or nothing" approach, so I don't know if I would consider adding fringe prospects such as Taubenheim, Villanueva, Moss, Palmisano to the roster. Also, reserve outfielders also seem to stick on active rosters for an entire season more often than not. Backup outfielders have become somewhat of a Rule 5 commodity the last few years, and even if they don't make the big squad, the team that drafted either Gwynn or Moss (and especially Gwynn on name alone) could probably keep them in a cash trade. With all the young pitchers in the Brewers organization that could be Rule V eligible having arm problems, big league teams are less apt to keep younger arms around all year. I'd say it is almost a guarantee that either Gwynn will be added to the 40-man or he will be taken in the Rule V.

So, who would I protect? The lead-pipe locks are Manny Parra, Hernan Iribarren, Mitch Stetter, Enrique Cruz, and Tony Gwynn, Jr. As far as others that I might consider adding that are on the proverbial bubble would be Rottino, Taubenheim, and Villaneuva. If those five were added to the 40-man, that would leave the roster currently at 38, room for two more players to be added either through free agency or trade. It is all but certain that Jeff Cirillo and Rick Helling will be back with the club, so they would have to be added at some point. With those two added, the roster would reach its limit. I just find it hard to justify protecting prospects that are not projected to be more than reserves, i.e. Moss, Rottino, and even Cruz to some extent. As far as pitchers, Villaneuva and Taubenheim each had spectacular years statistically speaking last year, but they do not project to be much more than roster filler at this point.

So, it'll be interesting to see what GM Doug Melvin decides today as the deadline approaches for rosters to be set.