The Winter Meetings are still taking place, albeit virtually, which means they will conclude today with the Rule 5 draft. The Rule 5 draft was designed to prevent teams from hoarding talent. Players are eligible to be drafted if they are not on the 40-man roster and (a) they were signed at age 18 or younger and five seasons have passed or; (b) they were signed at age 19 or older and four seasons have passed. A drafted player must spend the entire season on the active roster or be offered back to their original team.
The Rule 5 draft begins at 11 a.m. CT. You can follow a live audio stream at MLB.com.
Rule 5 draft eligible pitchers
The Royals have done pretty well in the Rule 5 draft, finding Joakim Soria and Brad Keller since Dayton Moore took over.
Royals Rule 5 selections and acquisitions since 2006
|2019||P Stephen Woods, Jr.||TBR||Offered back, acquired by Royals in a trade|
|2018||P Sam McWilliams||TBR||Didn't make the team, returned|
|2018||P Chris Ellis||STL (acquired from TEX)||Pitched 1 inning, returned|
|2017||P Brad Keller||ARI (acquired from CIN)||Remains with KC|
|2017||P Burch Smith||TBR (acquired from NYM)||Stuck with KC for entire year|
|2014||P Jandel Gustave||HOU (acquired from BOS)||Didn't make the team, claimed off waivers by SDP|
|2011||P Cesar Cabral||BOS||Traded immediately to NYY|
|2010||P Nate Adcock||PIT||Stuck with KC for entire year|
|2009||P Edgar Osuna||ATL||Offered back, but ATL declined|
|2008||P Jose Lugo||MIN||Immediately traded to SEA|
|2006||P Joakim Soria||SDP||Stuck with KC, became an All-Star|
The Royals could also lose a player. Among the eligible players that could be selected are infielders Gabriel Cancel and Kevin Merrell, outfielders Seuly Matias and Brewer Hicklen, and pitchers JC Cloney, Jake Bretz, Grant Gavin, Yefri del Rosario, Evan Steele, and Stephen Woods, Jr.
Royals players selected in the Rule 5 draft
|2018||P Elvis Luciano||TOR||Remains in TOR organization|
|2016||P Daniel Stumpf||DET||Allowed to elect free agency|
|2016||P Glenn Sparkman||TOR||Pitched one game, returned to KC|
|2015||P Daniel Stumpf||PHI||Pitched 7 games, returned to KC|
|2008||P Gilbert de la Vara||HOU||Didn't make team, returned to KC|
|2006||C Adam Donachie||PHI||Traded to BAL, didn't make team and returned to KC|
Teams will keep selecting until no one wants to make a selection anymore. The Royals currently have three open spots on their 40-man roster. There is also a minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft.