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Rule 5 Addition Discussion

The July 31st trade deadline has now passed, but that doesn’t mean that the Twins are necessarily done trading. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are likely to continue racking up minutes on their phones throughout the month.

In November, the front office will have to make some difficult decisions as it relates to the 40-man roster. At the trade deadline, the team added Dietrich Enns, who is already on the 40-man roster. They added Zack Littell and Gabriel Moya who are currently not on the 40-man roster but are certainly candidates. They don’t have to decide yet on Tyler Watson.

In case you missed them, here are the Twins trades:

John Ryan Murphy for Gabriel Moya - Diamondbacks
Jaime Garcia for Ryan Littell and Dietrich Enns - Yankees
Brandon Kintzler for Justin Watson - Nationals
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Stephen Gonsalves)
40-man roster consideration comes into play during the August trade period. So I think it’s a good time to take a first glance at which players in the Twins system would be Rule 5 draft eligible if they are not protected before the Winter Meetings.

I put together the list of players, and then sorted them into three categories.

The Givens: There is no question in my mind that these guys will be added… or lost.
2nd Tier: These guys have to be given strong consideration. For one reason or another, they are not quite givens, but have a decent chance depending on how many players get added.
3rd Tier: The next group probably won’t be added. It’s not that there aren’t some really good baseball players in this group. It’s that you’ll see the number of players who fall into the first two categories. However, the front office will need to have a conversation on several of these players.

So, I often get asked who is eligible for the Rule 5. The following are eligible this offseason for the first time:
  • Players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2013 (during the minor league season).
  • Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2014.
  • Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again.
Impending Minor League Free Agents

Before spring training, I wrote about five players who would become free agents after the 2017 World Series if they were not added to the Twins 40-man roster before then. Four of those players remain in the organization.
  • Levi Michael - 2011 first-round pick.
  • Travis Harrison - 2011 supplemental first-round pick.
  • Dereck Rodriguez - 2011 6th round pick.
  • David Hurlbut - 2011 28th-round pick.
Hurlbut is starting for the Red Wings. The other three players are playing for Chattanooga. While the Twins may try to bring back a couple of these players on minor league free agent deals, Rodriguez is the one player the team may consider adding to the 40-man roster before the completion of the World Series.

The Givens
  • Stephen Gonsalves - The lefty is a Top 100 prospect who has had a lot of success this year in AA Chattanooga. Easiest choice of the bunch.
  • Zack Littell - Like Gonsalves, Littell was drafted out of high school in 2013. He has split this season between High-A and AA, and will debut with the Lookouts this week.
  • Jake Reed - Drafted in 2014 out of Oregon, Reed moved up the system very quickly. The last couple of years he’s split between AA and AAA. Like Gonsalves, his season started late due to injury, but he’s back with the Red Wins and should debut this season.
  • John Curtiss - Twins sixth-round pick in 2014 out of Texas, Curtiss was given some time as a starter early in his career, but since moving to the bullpen for the 2016 season, he has taken off and become one of the most dominant relievers in the organization. He was recently promoted to AAA.
  • Lewin Diaz - Signed out of the Dominican in July of 2013, Diaz gradually worked his way up. Last year, he started showing his power at Elizabethton. He’s been a solid performer at Cedar Rapids this year. He’s a top ten prospect (#6, for me).
2nd Tier

The following list is really tough, but as I mentioned above, the Twins are going to have some really difficult decisions, and a couple of these guys will likely be left off the list. I’ll put them in the order I would likely add them, but you can feel free to discuss.

6.) Lewis Thorpe - The left-hander was eligible a year ago, but since he hadn’t pitched in two seasons, he went unselected. He’s been back for a couple of months now, and he’s been solid. He’s getting stronger, and he’s pitching well in Ft. Myers. He’s pretty close to a given.
7.) Aaron Slegers - Slegers was eligible for the Rule 5 draft last year and a lot of people thought there was a good chance he would be taken. He wasn’t, and the team invited him to big league camp. He moved up to Rochester, and he has been good, especially his last eight starts over which he has gone 8-0. Slegers should be promoted soon, even before September.
8.) Kohl Stewart - The strikeouts, I know. However, based on his draft position (1st round, 4th overall, in 2013), there’s a good chance he’s added. He hasn’t put up the numbers that Gonsalves has, particularly lacking in strikeouts, but until his rough start this season, he has always limited baserunners and runs with little hard contact.
9.) Gabriel Moya - He was acquired last week in the trade for John Ryan Murphy. He’s putting up incredible numbers in AA. While he doesn’t throw real hard, the lefty gets strikeouts, has deception and dominates.
10.) Luke Bard - The supplemental 2012 first-round pick has been healthy these last two years. With health, he’s improved his velocity and spin rates, and he has missed a lot of bats this year. Bard should be called up before the end of the season.
11.) Nick Burdi - A year ago, even having missed most of 2016 with the humerus injury, Burdi would have been an easy add. He was off to a great start this year and certainly would be up with the Twins by now. Instead, he had Tommy John surgery and will likely miss at least half of the 2018 season.That’s why he’s a borderline add.
12.) Mason Melotakis - He spent about a season and a half on the 40-man roster, but last month he was removed. His velocity has been down, but he has been very good since his promotion to Rochester. It’s possible he could be added back, though it may make more sense to call him up in late August or September.


3rd Tier

Remember the players in this group have a lot of talent. However, those first two groups of twelve, plus Dereck Rodriguez, are really talented and not all of them will be added.
  • Jhon Alvarez
  • DJ Baxendale
  • Cameron Booser
  • Sam Clay
  • Edgar Corcino
  • Andro Cutura
  • Eduardo Del Rosario
  • Ryan Eades
  • Tanner English
  • Edgar Herrera
  • Zack Jones
  • Randy LeBlanc
  • Jose Martinez
  • Amaurys Minier
  • Nelson Molina
  • Robert Molina
  • Ariel Montesino
  • Emmanuel Morel
  • Alex Muren
  • Max Murphy
  • Brian Navarreto
  • Callan Pearce
  • Johan Quezada
  • Williams Ramirez
  • Rainis Silva
  • Keaton Steele
  • Roni Tapia
  • Todd Van Steensel
  • Michael Theofanopoulos
  • Ryan Walker
  • TJ White
Before I get asked… and since this is right at the end, it probably will be asked (so you can answer it for me). What about Jermaine Palacios and Luis Arraez. Arraez signed in 2013, but not until November, so he won’t be eligible until next season. Palacios signed on September 6th, 2013, just days after the regular season ended. I believe that means that he does not have to be added until after the 2018 season as well.


So, with the above information, who would you add? The Twins have added anywhere from three players to eight players in a year, so it could be anywhere in there.

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88 Comments

Agreed, although look at it this way: how would you feel if the Twins grabbed a Burdi from someone else in Rule 5? But I agree with the others too, that there shouldn't be much of a meaningful crunch.


My opinion of reliever prospects has shifted quite a bit.

I'd be fine with the flyer, like I am with any rule 5 guy, but would have minimal expectation with a guy with that injury history.
    • Mike Sixel and Vanimal46 like this
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Taildragger8791
Aug 01 2017 11:46 AM

 

do you really think it's possible Pohlad eats 26 mil for Hughes?

I wouldn't have considered it, except they took on the dead contract for Garcia.

Man that's an expensive oopsie/extension

 

He's eating that money either way. The only decision now is whether he wants to further sandbag his team with an ineffective player eating up a roster spot, and add on the potential expense of losing a future cheap young player.

    • 70charger likes this
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Old Twins Cap
Aug 01 2017 11:54 AM

Always fun to speculate but as in years' past, the Twins scrap pile is not where good teams go to become more competitive.

 

We may love our guys, but other teams don't.

    • beckmt, Vanimal46, sftwinsfan and 1 other like this

 

He's eating that money either way. The only decision now is whether he wants to further sandbag his team with an ineffective player eating up a roster spot, and add on the potential expense of losing a future cheap young player.

agreed, but I have doubts that Pohlad could be convinced of that argument. Cutting him means there's no chance of recuperating any of that value. Maybe the odds are low, but not impossible

I think Dereck Rodriguez, Kohl Stewart, Mason Melotakis will not be added to the 40-man roster, David Hurlbut though should be added due to his performance in AAA.

This is about 3.5 months premature :)  Lots of transactions until then and I suspect that some of the names in the list will not be with the Twins. 

 

BA called Gabriel Moya "arguably the most dominant reliever in the minors".To me he is automatic. Reed is kinda of a borderline guy.I'd put him behind Burdi and Bard at this point.And behind Curtiss and Moya. The previous administration loved him, but the decision makers will be different by then.

Have to factor the upcoming changes in the FO, as well. That's why I am thinking that it is way too early to even think about this.

 

This is about 3.5 months premature :)  Lots of transactions until then and I suspect that some of the names in the list will not be with the Twins. 

 

BA called Gabriel Moya "arguably the most dominant reliever in the minors".To me he is automatic. Reed is kinda of a borderline guy.I'd put him behind Burdi and Bard at this point.And behind Curtiss and Moya. The previous administration loved him, but the decision makers will be different by then.

Have to factor the upcoming changes in the FO, as well. That's why I am thinking that it is way too early to even think about this.

predicting more of the old regime leaving?

Burdi was lights out before his injury and was probably nearing a promotion.I think he gets added.I know it would be risky exposing him and I would hate to lose him for nothing.

 

agreed, but I have doubts that Pohlad could be convinced of that argument. Cutting him means there's no chance of recuperating any of that value. Maybe the odds are low, but not impossible

Wasn't there a story confirming that they have insurance on Hughes?Wouldn't Pohlad be saving money if he retired due to injury?I'd kind of think this is the most likely scenario at this point.....

 

This is about 3.5 months premature :)  Lots of transactions until then and I suspect that some of the names in the list will not be with the Twins. 

 

BA called Gabriel Moya "arguably the most dominant reliever in the minors".To me he is automatic. Reed is kinda of a borderline guy.I'd put him behind Burdi and Bard at this point.And behind Curtiss and Moya. The previous administration loved him, but the decision makers will be different by then.

Have to factor the upcoming changes in the FO, as well. That's why I am thinking that it is way too early to even think about this.

 

I definitely agree... but I've been getting literally dozens of requests for this information, so I was happy to do the research. The list of names won't change much. Maybe a couple will be let go or will be called up. If they are, then they'll be part of the discussion later for whether or not to keep them on the 40-man. 

    • Thrylos, Mike Sixel, beckmt and 1 other like this

Wasn't there a story confirming that they have insurance on Hughes? Wouldn't Pohlad be saving money if he retired due to injury? I'd kind of think this is the most likely scenario at this point.....


I think that was speculation rather than confirmed. Insurance is pretty expensive for pitchers, I imagine. Who knows what they have and what it covers and to what extent.

Also, if he officially retired, he wouldn't get any more salary (the Gil Meche situation). He might have to stay on the roster for the Twins to collect insurance? Not sure how a buyout would work either.

I suppose if things don't improve, we'll be hearing about these details, but I suspect it might wait until next year.

Just glancing at wikipedia it looks like 1B are hardly ever taken in the Rule 5 draft. Only 2 in ten years or so? Both eventually returned/traded. 

    • 70charger likes this
It looks like somewhere around 7 or 8 of our top 30 prospects have come into the organization in the last year (since Falvine). Anyone know whether that is typical turnover in the prospect pipeline? Are the evaluators just enamored with the shiny new toys? Or have these guys legitimately upgraded and replaced 25% of our prospect pipeline? And they haven't really jettisoned any significant prospects, so theoretically, the other 7 or 8 that used to be in the system are still there from 30-40.

It looks like somewhere around 7 or 8 of our top 30 prospects have come into the organization in the last year (since Falvine). Anyone know whether that is typical turnover in the prospect pipeline? Are the evaluators just enamored with the shiny new toys? Or have these guys legitimately upgraded and replaced 25% of our prospect pipeline? And they haven't really jettisoned any significant prospects, so theoretically, the other 7 or 8 that used to be in the system are still there from 30-40.


That's probably relatively typlical.

The system is better, but that was pretty much inevitable since there was going to be a lull in graduations and they had the #1 pick.

Not sure if they deserve credit for new developmental practices as of yet.

The one thing that is hardly mentioned is the fact the Twins do have to field a 25 man team. The rest of the guys are call ups during next season, if they're ready. So give and take free agents and and 60 man DL, that leaves 15 guys who are not ready for the Twins on your 40 man. Most people's lists have them adding a lot of P (which I agree with), but you still need position players as well.

Currently The Twins only have 4 position players who are not on the 25 man roster. If you're not adding any position players, I don’t think the Twins should be dropping Vargas, Palka, Vielma, and Garver and replacing them for “not ready for prime time” pitchers. You’d only drop these guys if they sign or trade for position players.

 

I agree with other posters that a low A 1B like Diaz is not getting selected, plus no reason to start burning his options this quickly. Stewart, Rodriguez, Thrope, and Moya are also givens to get added IMO along with the top 4 of Seth’s list.

The twins should be able to add about 9. My order would go 1 Gonsalves 2 Littell 3 Curtiss 4Thorpe 5 stewart 6 Moya 7 Reed 8 Burdi 9 Slegers 10 Diaz Unless Diaz explodes I think he's the first one to be left off. Clay also could be borderline, I could see a team drafting him as a Loogy. Luke Bard is interesting too.

 

The twins should be able to add about 9. My order would go 1 Gonsalves 2 Littell 3 Curtiss 4Thorpe 5 stewart 6 Moya 7 Reed 8 Burdi 9 Slegers 10 Diaz Unless Diaz explodes I think he's the first one to be left off. Clay also could be borderline, I could see a team drafting him as a Loogy. Luke Bard is interesting too.

 

Would not add Reed, Slegers, Diaz.I would add Bard.I of course do not get to see the scouting reports. 

Expect that Palka, Vielma, and Vargas will be removed and I hope Gibson will be.We know what he has and he needs a reboot elsewhere.

This could all change with trades now and early in the offseason.

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SarasotaBill
Aug 02 2017 08:50 AM

 

This is about 3.5 months premature :)  Lots of transactions until then and I suspect that some of the names in the list will not be with the Twins. 

 

BA called Gabriel Moya "arguably the most dominant reliever in the minors".To me he is automatic. Reed is kinda of a borderline guy.I'd put him behind Burdi and Bard at this point.And behind Curtiss and Moya. The previous administration loved him, but the decision makers will be different by then.

Have to factor the upcoming changes in the FO, as well. That's why I am thinking that it is way too early to even think about this.

The projected 40 man roster in the off season influences who gets called up or not.

 

For example, Slegers may not be called up because they don't plan to put him on the 40.  

 

The projected 40 man roster in the off season influences who gets called up or not.

 

For example, Slegers may not be called up because they don't plan to put him on the 40.  

 

Nope.The existing 40-man by the end of August (during the season) influences that, because someone needs to be on that roster by 8/31 to be called in September.

 

Trades also need to be taken into consideration.Let's say that the Twins fully plan to protect Gonsalves, Stewart, and Curtiss (just throwing names out there) .However, they work a trade with (let's say) Tampa and all 3 are included in a trade for (let's say) Archer.They do not need to be protected.And even if they were planning to protect them, for sure they would not need to do that in August so they can pitch in September...

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SarasotaBill
Aug 02 2017 09:25 AM

 

Nope.The existing 40-man by the end of August (during the season) influences that, because someone needs to be on that roster by 8/31 to be called in September.

 

Trades also need to be taken into consideration.Let's say that the Twins fully plan to protect Gonsalves, Stewart, and Curtiss (just throwing names out there) .However, they work a trade with (let's say) Tampa and all 3 are included in a trade for (let's say) Archer.They do not need to be protected.And even if they were planning to protect them, for sure they would not need to do that in August so they can pitch in September...

My understanding is a player needs to be on the 40 to play in MLB.

 

Falvey must plan today with the off season, next season, and the next off season in mind. Things change but he has to have a plan (it might include making a trade for a Ace).

 

If you only plan for today then you will need to remove players off the 40 which then exposes them to the Padres or other weak team 40 man roster. There's a reason Falvey has brought up non-prospect players as fill-ins.  

 

Yes, you do bring up some non-prospects as fill-ins, if the need arises.

 

I'm looking at the 40-man. I see the following basically leaving because they should be free agents: Belisle, Gee, Perkins, Santiago, Gimenez, Adrianiza and Colon.

 

I would not offer arbitration to Boshers, Gibson, Escobar, Grossman or Vargas at this point.

 

You can also cut O'Rourke, Turley, Recker and possibly Vielma and Palka. I am on the bubble on what to do with Polanco, as well as the longterm situations of Chargois and Hughes. If you can move Hughes off the 40-man, which you should be able to do by adding him back on at the end of his 60-day DL in September - and send him to the minors (and thru waivers) like you did Blackburn, do so at this point. You still are on the hook for his salary. But he's not eating a roster spot.

 

That's a heck of a lot of players that I don't see playing with the Twins come spring of 2018.

 

Added back in, somehow, before the season ends for a looksee would be names like: Park, Slegers, Hurlbut, Rucisnki, maybe Baxendale and Melville. Do you care about Matt Hague? Also, make sure you do look at Palka and Vielma before jettisoning them, if you wish. Looks like names like Wimmers, Tonkin and Heston would be ignored.

 

Many of the above, by giving them a shot with the Twins, then possibly removing them from the 40-man, would still give them enough of a big league taste to maybe resign if the Twins want them for minor league depth. But I don't see any of them as givens for roster spots.

 

The only other pitcher I would possibly add before seasons end would be Jake Reed. Get him some innings going into next season in the majors.

 

Many of the names to drop from the roster should happen during the waiver wire time in August. you shed the spot to add a prospect. YTou still have a better job at revisiting the player in the of-season without having to face arbitration or staying with the max 20% salary cut that you would if they stayed with the organization. Sadly, I don't see many of the names (or free agents) having fights over their signability with another team and most would probably not end up on a 40-man themselves.

 

(Exceptions: Escobar, possibly Grossman, Polanco will be given a flyer...but being out of options hurts him so bad).

 

Which kinda says a sad case for the current state of the Minnesota Twins.

 

If you can move Hughes off the 40-man, which you should be able to do by adding him back on at the end of his 60-day DL in September - and send him to the minors (and thru waivers) like you did Blackburn, do so at this point.

We can't do that with Hughes.  With 5+ years service time, he has the right to refuse any outright assignment.  So you can expect him stay on the 40-man roster barring release, trade, or retirement. (Blackburn was 16 days shy of 5 years service when we outrighted him.)

    • ashburyjohn likes this

I think this is the case for every team in the league. People rate their minor league talent way higher than what they are. Take the Twins since they are our team. Of all the players that need to be protected, how many would actually be able to stay on an active roster all season? I guess the gray area would be if a team goes crazy like San Diego and has 3 rule 5 players on their team again.

 

 

    • Mike Sixel and Dman like this

 

I think this is the case for every team in the league. People rate their minor league talent way higher than what they are. Take the Twins since they are our team. Of all the players that need to be protected, how many would actually be able to stay on an active roster all season? I guess the gray area would be if a team goes crazy like San Diego and has 3 rule 5 players on their team again.

 

The only team that might "tank" next year is the White Sox....but I have my doubts.

 

agreed, but I have doubts that Pohlad could be convinced of that argument. Cutting him means there's no chance of recuperating any of that value. Maybe the odds are low, but not impossible

 

That would be terrible business analysis. The money is gone any way you slice it, and frankly, we already know that it was an expensive mistake. Literally the only consideration should be whether you think Hughes will provide more value over the life of his contract than the last guy added to the 40-man this offseason will provide over the life of his.

 

The idea that either will add any value at all is, to be perfectly fair, quite speculative.

    • Mike Sixel likes this

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