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Rule 5 draft open thread

The Royals currently have a full 40-man roster.

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Rule 5 draft will be held at 1 p.m. CT today at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, presenting an opportunity for teams to acquire talent blocked in other organizations. Players can be selected if they are not on a 40-man roster and meet eligibility requirements, outlined here by MLB Pipeline.

For this year, that means an international or high school Draft pick signed in 2019 had to be protected. A college player taken in the 2020 Draft was in the same position.

Teams must pay $100,000 to make a selection. Players must remain on the active 26-man roster (or the Injured List) all season or be offered back to their original club for $50,000.

In the past, the Royals have acquired players like Joakim Soria and Brad Keller through the Rule 5 draft. While most players acquired end up being returned or becoming marginal big leaguers, a few stars have been acquired through the Rule 5 draft, including Johan Santana, Shane Victorino, Dan Uggla, and Josh Hamilton.

Here are some profiles of Rule 5 eligible players that could be selected today.

The 2023 Rule 5 draft: The hitters

The 2023 Rule 5 draft: The pitchers

My personal draft board would be:

  1. RHP Anthony Molina, Rays
  2. RHP Tanner Burns, Guardians
  3. OF Hudson Haskin, Orioles
  4. RHP Ian Bedell, Cardinals
  5. RHP R.J Dabovich, Giants

The Royals currently have a full 40-man roster, and cannot make a selection unless they open up a spot. Among the Royals minor leaguers that could be selected today include infielders CJ Alexander and Devin Mann, outfielders Tucker Bradley and John Rave, and pitchers Luinder Avila, Christian Chamberlain, TJ Sikkema, and Beck Way. Former first round pick Asa Lacy is also a notable unprotected eligible player, but it is a long-shot he would be selected considering his control issues and lack of a track record.

Teams will select in reverse order of this year’s standings. The Rule 5 draft will continue as many rounds as teams want to make selections. There is also a minor league Rule 5 draft that has more complicated rules but does not require a player to remain on a roster all year. Very few players in that portion end up becoming big leaguers.