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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

 

Would not add Reed, Slegers, Diaz.I would add Bard.

gotta add slegers, easily would be taken and has been good in AAA. worth giving 6-8 starts before the end of the season then decide maybe if he should stay on it

gotta add slegers, easily would be taken and has been good in AAA. worth giving 6-8 starts before the end of the season then decide maybe if he should stay on it


I don't think Slegers would be taken.
Every team already has a Slegers or two at AAA.
    • Mike Sixel, beckmt and howieramone2 like this

Starting with the current 40 man roster (and guys on DL) I would break down the roster as follows:

 

Pitchers returning (15): Berrios, Busenitz, Chargois. Duffey, Enns, Hildenberger, Hughes, Jorge, May, Mejia, Pressly, Rogers, Romero, Rosario, Santana

 

Position players returning (11): Castro, Garver, Dozier, Escobar, Mauer, Polanco, Sano, Buxton, Granite, Kepler, Rosario

 

Borderline players (7): Gibson, O'Rourke, Adrianza, Vielma, Palka, Grossman, Vargas 

 

Gone (9): Belisle, Boshers, Colon, Gee, Perkins, Santiago, Turley, Gimenez, Recker

 

 

That would make 26 solid roster spots and I'm guessing 2 or 3 from the borderline list (one of Adrianza/Vielma and one or two of Grossman/Vargas/Palka). That would leave 11-12 spots for rule 5 eligible players. My guess at who gets added:

 

Rule 5 players added to roster (11): Gonsalves, Stewart, Diaz, Thorpe, Littell, Curtis, Reed, Burdi, Moya, Sledgers, Bard

 

 

I also expect to see Moya, Sledger, Bard, and Melotakis up this season and their performance will have an impact on the last roster spots for next season.

 

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.

 

 

 

Logistics:

 

Adrianza and Gimenez are not FA.Both are arbitration eligible.Gimenez will be a FA in 2019, Adrianza in 2021.  

 

Boshers and Vargas will not be Arbitration eligible until after next season.

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.

whoever said it was "good"? People do lots of things, including buy whole sports franchises for bad reasons.
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twinstalker
Aug 02 2017 10:19 PM

Yeah, a few points.

 

1) Pohlads have made horrible business decision after horrible business decision.  The saving grace is that Falvine probably doesn't care about Jim Pohlad losing a few dollars.  I'm not sure I understand the insurance thing, though, if in fact it's true what someone said.  If Hughes salary is fully insured if he can't play, and you know he can't play, then it is a really good move to keep him on the 40 in the offseason, 60-day DL him in the season, and start spending the 26 million or whatever to help your team.

 

2) Someone mentioned the Twins might trade some of these candidates for a player before the Rule V.  Trust me, that kind of trade doesn't happen because other teams are trying to pare down their lists, too.

 

3)  Comparison of Diaz to Kepler regarding protecting against Rule V:  ugh.  Kepler was always more highly thought of than Diaz.  But even if they were the same, Kepler could play all three OF positions and 1B.

 

4)  Gimenez is a definite drop but will likely be in spring training next year.  Slegers is a definite no-keep unless they just have no one else, really, to keep.  Keep in mind this team will likely be adding MLB bodies.  Falvine understands the organization now and will add where appropriate.

 

whoever said it was "good"? 

 

Well. I, for one, did not. 

 

So there's that.

    • Sconnie likes this

I may be wrong about this because I don't fully understand the rule 5 eligibility parameters, but doesn't Diaz have another year before he needs to be added?

According to his MiLB page, he signed in November of 2013, so wouldn't that put him in the same boat as Palacios and Arraez?


Seth Stohs, any clarification here? Lewin Diaz indeed did not play pro ball in 2013, and his MLB page lists a signing date in November 2013, which seems consistent with that. That would mean he would not be Rule 5 eligible until after the 2018 season. Did he agree to a deal earlier, but it wasn't official until later?
    • diehardtwinsfan and Cory Engelhardt like this
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biggentleben
Aug 11 2017 02:50 PM

 

I totally get that he would be in way, way over his head but how much do rule 5 guys play anyway?  We limped along with Haley most of this year and he barely played.  If you are a rebuilding team I don't know why you wouldn't consider it.

 

I will say most of the position players taken have been above A ball and SS, CF or Catchers.  I guess there must be more that goes into it than just grabbing a good prospect.

 

Haley was able to be stashed as a DL guy until they returned him. Not exactly apples to apples.

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biggentleben
Aug 11 2017 02:53 PM

 

Yeah, a few points.

 

1) Pohlads have made horrible business decision after horrible business decision.  The saving grace is that Falvine probably doesn't care about Jim Pohlad losing a few dollars.  I'm not sure I understand the insurance thing, though, if in fact it's true what someone said.  If Hughes salary is fully insured if he can't play, and you know he can't play, then it is a really good move to keep him on the 40 in the offseason, 60-day DL him in the season, and start spending the 26 million or whatever to help your team.

 

2) Someone mentioned the Twins might trade some of these candidates for a player before the Rule V.  Trust me, that kind of trade doesn't happen because other teams are trying to pare down their lists, too.

 

3)  Comparison of Diaz to Kepler regarding protecting against Rule V:  ugh.  Kepler was always more highly thought of than Diaz.  But even if they were the same, Kepler could play all three OF positions and 1B.

 

4)  Gimenez is a definite drop but will likely be in spring training next year.  Slegers is a definite no-keep unless they just have no one else, really, to keep.  Keep in mind this team will likely be adding MLB bodies.  Falvine understands the organization now and will add where appropriate.

 

Those sorts of trades happen all the time. Heck, the PTBNL with the Braves/Mariners trade that involved Alex Jackson was based on a guy who was Rule 5 eligible or the deal would have been finalized ahead of time. I would wager 3-4 such trades happen every year.

 

Haley was able to be stashed as a DL guy until they returned him. Not exactly apples to apples.

 

Yeah I pretty much lost this argument big time already.:)

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biggentleben
Aug 11 2017 02:55 PM

 

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. 

 

I'm glad you did the research and posted this. I cited it in an article I did for Puckett's Pond and credited your list here.

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biggentleben
Aug 11 2017 02:56 PM

 

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.

 

Four of those (Enlow, Leach, Rooker, Lewis) are draft picks from June, so that's not surprising, especially with the #1 pick.


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