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Rule 5 draft open thread

Freely available talent!

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken

The Winter Meetings conclude today with the Rule 5 draft in which teams can raid other organizations for potentially useful players. With teams tanking and rosters expanding to 26 next season, you can expect a busier Rule 5 draft this year. The Royals will have the fourth pick, and it is a safe bet that they will walk away with someone, probably a pitcher considering they have acquired four pitchers in the last two drafts.

Players eligible to be selected are those players not on the 40-man roster who were signed when they were 19 or older and have played in professional baseball for four years or who were signed at 18 and have played for five years. A selected player must stay on the active Major League roster for a full season or be offered back to his original team after clearing waivers. There is also a minor league portion that no one understands and rarely yields much talent.

Royals Review Rule 5 draft preview: The pitchers

Baseball America: Rule 5 draft preview

CBS Sports: Rule 5 draft preview

The draft begins at 11 CT.