Today marks not only the conclusion of the Winter Meetings, but also the annual Rule 5 Draft. If you're not familiar with the Rule 5 Draft, be sure to check out MLBTR's primer.
While most of the names that come out of the Rule 5 Draft are inconsequential, every so often there's a gem that's uncovered; Johan Santana, Shane Victorino, Dan Uggla, and Josh Hamilton have all been Rule 5 selections, so you never know when you might run into an All-Star. Here's a preview of today's action:
- Baseball America's John Manuel provides the draft order and the number of open 40-man roster spots each team has.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo discusses the Rule 5 Draft and some names to look for in this video segment.
- In a two part draft preview, Manuel also names some of the top candidates to be selected. While the links require a BA subscription to see all of the players and their scouting reports, we'll at least cover the names here.
- Pitchers: Caleb Brewer, Justin Fitzgerald, Brett Lorin, Diego Moreno, T.J. McFarland, Bryce Stowell, and Ryan Searle.
- Hitters: Abraham Almonte, Eduardo Sosa, Ryan Flaherty, Jiwan James, and Beamer Weems.
- Utility Guys and Role Players: Drew Cumberland, Jordan Danks, Blaine Hardy, Brandon Sisk, Justin Henry, Joe Ortiz, Trevor Reckling, Dae-Eun Rhee, Josh Smoker, and Johan Yan.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin said his team probably won't make a pick in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft,tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
- The Pirates have at least thought about picking Nationals lefty Josh Smoker in the Rule 5 Draft, though it's not a lock according to John Perotto of Baseball Prospectus (on Twitter). Smoker was selected 31st overall by the Nats in 2007
- Even with tonight's hiring of Jeff Luhnow as the new Astros GM, it will be interim GM Dave Gottfried and scouting director/assistant GM Bobby Heck calling the shots at the Rule 5 Draft tomorrow, tweets Alyson Footer of the Astros
- Manuel writes that reports of the Twins focusing on pitching led to speculation on Mets righty Rhiner Cruz, but a club source said the team is looking in another direction.
- The Pirates have made a 40-man roster move that they haven't yet announced in order to open a spot to make a pick in the draft, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- As of last night the Yankees were planning on making a selection in the draft, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.