Rangers setting up for Rule 5.

The Rangers prepared their roster for the upcoming Rule 5 draft. It’s always worth noting not only who they protect but also who they don’t protect.

They added Ezequiel Duran, Ronny Hernandez, and Ricky Vanasco to the 40-man roster. So they are protected. Players who they left unprotected include outfielders Bubba Thompson and Steele Walker and pitchers Jake Latz and Cole Ragans. All four can be picked by any team.

Players have to be on the 40-man roster in order to be protected from being snagged by other teams in the Rule 5 Draft. There are a few exceptions. Players signed at age 18 or younger cannot be taken in their first five seasons. Players signed at 19 or older have four years before they have to be protected.

The Rule 5 draft was created in 1997 to allow players stuck in the minor leagues in one system to be allowed an opportunity to play in the major leagues with another system. It prevents teams from stockpiling talent and letting it languish in the minor leagues with those players being blocked from a path to the major leagues.

If a player is chosen in the Rule 5 draft, he must remain on the major league roster of the team who chose him for the entire season, or offered back to the original team.

In last year’s Rule 5 draft, the Rangers selected pitcher Brett de Geus.

Other Rule 5 picks were pitchers Chris Ellis in 2018 and Mike Hauschile in 2015, outfielder Delino DeShields in 2014, pitchers Coty Woods in 2012 and Chris Mabeus, infielder Marshall McDougall in 2002, and outfielder Scott Podsednik in 1997.

The Rule 5 draft takes place at the Winter Meetings in early December.