Some MLB teams are closing their spring complexes to scouts from other teams until either Major League spring play commences or until after the Rule 5 draft, per ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel (via Twitter).
McDaniel also suggests the Rule 5 draft could be cancelled outright, at which point teams would likely be more lenient. Canceling the Rule 5 draft would be unfortunate, as it offers at least an opportunity to blocked minor league players to get opportunities for promotion elsewhere. While it may pale in comparison to the other issues currently on the table, canceling the Rule 5 draft would close off at least one avenue that struggling teams have utilized to find and audition controllable players.
The implications here are fairly clear. Currently the only players allowed in camp are those that are not on the 40-man roster. Those are also the players who will be available for plucking during the Rule 5 draft. By locking opposing scouts out of camp, teams are strategically denying valuable information to clubs about the progress of certain players. Without current scouting, teams picking in the Rule 5 draft will have to rely on old information, which is difficult when specifically looking for players who might have jumped a rung in terms of their development.
Last year’s Rule 5 draft proved a (relatively) fertile area of player acquisition for Major League clubs. Akil Baddoo (Tigers), Garrett Whitlock (Red Sox), Jordan Sheffield (Rockies), Trevor Stephan (Guardians), and Zach Pop (Marlins) being among the players who stuck with new clubs after being taken in the draft. Tyler Gilbert (Diamondbacks) put up 1.1 rWAR for Arizona after being selected in the Triple-A phase of the draft. He improbably tosses a No-Hitter in his first start for the Diamondbacks, finishing the year with a 3.15 ERA/4.27 FIP over 40 innings in the Majors. These players provided some of the more memorable success stories from the 2021 campaign.
Whitlock, for example, was one of the most important players on a playoff team. Working out of the bullpen, Whitlock became the Red Sox most reliable reliever down the stretch. He finished the year with a 1.96 ERA/2.84 FIP across 46 outings totaling 73 1/3 innings, good for 3.0 rWAR. Finding a ready contributor like Whitlock in another team’s complex will be much more difficult if scouts don’t have access to those playing fields.
Canceling the rule 5 draft wouldn’t be a surprise as teams are going to have to condense both the remainder of the offseason and spring training basically at the same time
got a feeling we don’t get a R5 unless a deal is done soon. cant have it during a minors season id imagine.
The Rule 5 draft is not important to the union because those eligible players aren’t in the union. From the teams’ perspective it makes sense. Why showcase players for others to take?
MLB should skip the Rule 5 draft this year.
Thinking about drafts….
The 5 round regular draft in 2020 was only a way to limit the compensation to what would have been rounds 6 to 20. The players who signed wanted a chance at the MLB (at a greatly reduced signing bonus), but had they waited until the next draft in 2021 they would have risk not getting picked at all as the draft would have had nearly double the eligible players. I get that teams had less opportunity to scout players in 2020, so there was a lot more risk as to what they were paying for, but I guess everyone lost out on a lot of things in 2020.
My 86 year old mom die in 2020 not because of Covid, but because of being cooped up indoors and lack of stimulation, companionship, and interaction. We all lost something…
FredMcGriff for the HOF
@jc. Sorry to hear about your mom. I’m going to assume she was in a nursing home. It made me sick what these nursing homes did to the old folks. My wife’s 90 year old grandmother lived on her own up until the last year or so of her life when the family put her in a nursing home. Of course it was right before the Covid scamdemic hit and she was also locked in her living quarters no visitors allowed. Literally one of the nicest old lady’s I’d ever met and she too died of loneliness. All she wanted was to be around family and that was denied by Fauci on down.
Fred- thank you! The loneliness did in many, many elderly people. My mom could still drive (well too) at 86, but all the clubs and activities were closed or canceled, so she had no where to go to see friends or family (she refused to move across the US to live with family). My mom was very nice, but wanted to remain independent.
The doctor stuck her on anti-depression meds which she did not need, and the quantity killed her (she was only 88 pounds). It shut down her kidneys.
Many people have died in the last 2 years, not FROM Covid, but from how it was handled.
They should have a Rule 69 draft. Those players who have never been on a MLB roster and have played 6-9 years in the minors be put on a squad where if a player is injured, a team can draft from the 6-9 year eligible candidates without subjecting anyone to waivers or a roster spot.
You just wanted to say “69”…
“6-9” is not needed. It already exist as Minor League Free Agency. The player can sign with whoever they want. Many MLFA sign contracts with opt-outs where if they are not added to the 26 man roster by a certain date they are free to sign with another team.
I’m not sure how closing camps to scouts from other teams “hurts” them in terms of the rule 5 draft. If there had been no lockout they would have had to make their decision without any information regarding the advancement of these players, so not getting that info now doesn’t hurt them at all. It just keeps them from gaining information they otherwise would not have had.
You answered why in your last sentence.
If the small market clubs are (as reported) blocking the other owners from increasing CBT threshold, and increasing the tax rate, big market clubs should cancel Rule 5; it keeps bad clubs from snatching good players from deep organizations.
Minor league players have a chance to play on a MLB club and make better money than being on a team that doesn’t want to promote them at this time. The owners lockout now wants to stop this process as well for the minimal players that would have a chance to do better for themselves. No reason for this in my opinion. More posturing it seems…
Likewise, I am declaring my property off-limits to opposing scouts for the duration of the lockout. No soliciting, please.
As a Red Sox fan, I truly hope they cancel the Rule V draft this year as Chaim Bloom left 4-5 players unprotected who would most likely be selected. Durbin Feltman would absolutely be drafted and even though he is young and hasn’t advanced past A ball, Gilberto Jimenez is too talented not to take a chance on. He could be the next Baddoo for some team willing to keep him on their roster. There is also a collection of 3-4 additional pitchers from Boston who would most likely be selected in the Rule V draft.
Speaking of Boston, where is the article on Brett Nezter? This kid completely went off the rails this weekend, leading to his release; completely ruining his baseball career and most likely his ability to find any sort of job outside of baseball too. His Tweets were beyond reprehensible. It makes me wonder if he has some sort of mental disorder as he hadn’t tweeted in nearly 2 years and out of the blue he starts posting horrible things. If he’s sick, I hope he gets the help he needs. If he’s not sick then this kid has some serious issues to address. There’s no place for that much hate in today’s society.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Rule 5 players = poker chips
You forgot Tyler Wells with the Orioles. He had a decent season.
Wanted to give him a shoutout. He was arguably the Orioles best reliever this past year.
The Rule 5 draft needs to be discontinued permanently. Everyone loves to talk about the exceptions but , in reality, drafted players almost never have successful careers as a result of this draft. Worse yet it doesn’t really redistribute talent and there is evidence that it hurts the mental and physical development of the players who are returned. Plus, for small market teams who are successful at player development it can actually hurt them more than large market teams. Due to the threat posed by this draft the Guardians had to add 12 prospects to their roster this fall. Everyone of these prospects has a real chance of being an above average major leaguer but almost all need 1-3 years of development until they are truly ready for the ML. A small market, low budget team should be able to keep homegrown talent they develop, talent that due to being with a small market franchise, has a real chance at getting a major league look. Also , for those who think this draft does anything to redistribute talent realize that from 2011-2020, the Yankees had the most players drafted in the Rule 5 but had only a small fraction they actually lost. A draft that hurts small market teams is not good and a system that exposes 20-21 year old Latin prospects who need more development to the Rule 5 draft needs to be eliminated. This draft unfairly causes teams to make hasty roster decisions just so a kid might get a chance to make a little ML money. It is bad for the players involved and bad for small market teams who develop their own players. Get rid of it!
Backup Catcher to the Backup Catcher
Keep the Rule 5 Draft. Playing in the majors is a dream. Why cut off an avenue where some players can attain their dream?
Yeah, I know, it’s a rarity when a Rule 5 pick actually proves to be a contributing factor for the team that took and kept him. But reaching the majors period is a rarity.
Just look at all the players who are drafted or signed as IFA. each year. The number from that group who get to spend even one day in the majors is pretty small by comparison.
Keep the Rule 5 Draft. Each year it allows some player(s) to fulfill his dream who otherwise would still be riding buses in the bush leagues.