The Idiot's Guide to the Rule V Draft

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Today is the day that your favorite major league team might enjoy an early holiday gift, finding their own Johan Santana or Roberto Clemente under the big tree at the Bellagio Hotel. Why? It's the last day of the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas and the day for everyone's favorite young player dispersal mechanism: the Rule Five Draft!

What is the Rule Five Draft? I'm not entirely sure, that's why this is the Idiot's Guide, because I'm an idiot. Basically, it prevents teams from stockpiling prospects. If a player is not on his team's 40-man roster, and is not subject to some mumbo-jumbo age restrictions, he's eligible to be cherry-picked today by the other 29 teams. The draft order is decided by how teams finished during the regular season last year. That's why Washington should get used to having the first pick from this point forward, what with the Rays actually learning to be a real major league team last season.

In exchange for drafting a player, the drafting team gives up $50,000, or the approximate cost of one of Peter Angelos' toupees. If a player gets selected, they have to spend the entire next season on that team's 25-man roster or the team will risk losing that dude to his original team. That would be embarrassing. Teams don't have to select a player if they don't want. I mean, look at the 'big' names available this year: Eduardo Morlan, Donnie Veal, Dmitri Young, Ryan Mullins, Chris Mason, Juan Abreu and Jordan Brown. I've heard of two of those guys, and only because one of them, a once-untouchable Cubs pitching prospect, has a last name that sounds delicious sauteed with a light lemon butter sauce, and the other one was a violent alcoholic.

So cross your fingers and hope that your favorite team ends up with someone like one of the all-time Rule V Draft success stories, Johan Santana, Roberto Clemente, or Bobby Bonilla. Or even better, someone like Shane Victorino, who was selected in this draft in 2002 by the Padres, later returned to the Dodgers, and then selected again in the 2004 Rule V Draft by the Phillies. The Flyin' Hawaiian gets around!

UPDATE: The Nats took Cincinnati's pitcher Terrell Young with pick number one. Donald Veal was taken by the pitching-starved Pirates at pick number four. Also, the Yankees have had three players taken so far in the first round because their farm system is A+++ superfantastic.

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Wish Donnie Veal was on the same team as Jarod Saltalamacchia.

Mmm... Veal Saltalamacchia.

Maybe Milwaukee could pick up Veal and pair him in the bullpen as a lefty-righty combo with E.J. Shanks.

If they shaved one of the zeros off the end of his contrace Young could be good pickup of my home town team. He could DH angainst lefties and back up the big canadian at 1st. Plus he would be with his brother so that could be help.

Juan Abreu; For the teams that can't afford the real thing. Like when your mom bought Nykee sneakers for you in middle school.

well since baseball doesn't use Roman Numerals and it is actually the "Rule 5 Draft" the title is fitting

Big effin' deal, jameslindseyVVnullV.

Speaking of Roman numerals and null sets, this book is a trip.


May I suggest this one if you haven't already read it?

If you haven't, my advice is: Read it slowly.

Awesome. Thanks for the tip.

Shane Vic was actually offered *back* to the Dodgers before (I believe) the 2005 season. They didn't want him so the Phils got to keep him. Neat!

@CTC: I read that book! It's very entertaining.

I thought this was a food blog, not Oprah's Book Club.

Your update Italicized the shit out of this site.

I hate to be bearer of bad news to the fans of the other 29 teams but Nick Punto re-signed with the Twins. Yeah, two more years of head first slides into first base and exaggerated greatness in the field.

None of these guys will be on the 25 man roster. Except for Reegie Corona, who may end up DHing for Seattle.

We're getting the Drudge siren ready as we speak.

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