The Winter Meetings—which were supposed to be in Dallas but instead turned out virtual—end today.
By tradition, they end with the Rule 5 draft pick.
The Rule 5 draft was set up to keep teams from stockpiling too much talent by allowing players who might otherwise be roadblocked a chance at the major leagues. One quirk of the Rule 5 is that the player drafted has to stay on the major league roster for the entire reason or he is returned to the team he came from. The acquiring team pays the losing team $100,000 for the player. If he is returned, the team that gets him back repays $50,000 of that.
If a player was first signed at age 18 and has not been put on his team’s 40-man roster within five seasons, he is eligible to be taken by another team. If he’s signed at age 19 or later, it’s four seasons. That team must have room on its 40-man roster before selecting the player.
The Rangers, by virtue of having the second-worst record in 2020 get the second pick in the Rule 5 draft.
Over the years, the Rangers have acquired Delino DeShields, Mitch Williams, Cecil Espy, Alexi Ogando, and, hardest to understand of all, Carlos Tocci. The Reds selected Josh Hamilton for the Rangers, then traded him to Texas.
Most Rule 5 players the Rangers have selected over the years have not stuck around on the roster and were returned back to their original clubs.
This will be an opportunity for new general manager Chris Young to get some experience and start making a difference.
The draft is today at 11:00 central.