On Thursday morning, the 2017 Winter Meetings will come to a close with the annual Rule 5 draft. Last month, the Minnesota added three players to their 40-man roster, but they left several very talented players unprotected. The Twins could potentially lose a couple of players (at least tentatively) to the Rule 5. However, they currently have just 37 players on their 40-man roster, so in theory, they could make a Rule 5 pick (or three!).
Below you'll find a brief preview of the 2017 Rule 5 Draft, but as the draft takes place, this article will continue to be updated if the Twins lose or gain players. So be sure to check back often. The draft starts at 8:00 a.m. central time.8:15 Update: A computer glitch delayed the inevitable, but with the 3rd overall pick in the Rule 5 draft, the Phillies selected Nick Burdi from the Twins. It was expected. Reports from Orlando indicate that he will be traded.
8:18 Update: Angels selected Luke Bard.
8:19 Update: The Twins selected right-handed pitcher Tyler Kinley from the Miami Marlins (more to come after draft).
Tyler Kinley was the 16th round pick of the Miami Marlins in the 2013 draft out of Barry Universityl in Miami Shores, Florida. He spent the 2017 between High-A Jupiter and AA Jacksonville. Combined, he threw 53.1 innings in 50 outings. He walked 22 and struck out 72. He had a 1.98 ERA in High-A, and a 5.19 ERA in AA. He will turn 27 in January.
The Major League portion of the Rule 5 draft is complete. The Twins add Tyler Kinley and lose Nick Burdi and Luke Bard. The Minor League portion of the draft is starting.
8:51 Update: The Phillies traded Nick Burdi to the Pirates for international slot money.
8:37 Update: The Twins select RH Yancarlos Baez from the Yankees roster in the AAA Rule 5. Baez was signed by the Yankees as a shortstop, but in 2017, he transitioned to pitching in the GCL. Interesting gamble.
8:43 Update: The Twins selected Sandy Lugo, a 22-year-old RHP from the Dominican, and from the Reds organization. In 2017, he split the year before Low-A Dayton (2 games) and High-A Daytona (4-6, 5.32 ERA in 42 relief games). In 64 innings, he had 40 walks but he struck out 82.
8:51 Update: Nick Burdi was traded to the Pirates in exchange for international bonus pool money.
Below we're going to start with the basics. Who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft? Who could the Twins lose in the Rule 5 draft, and who could they select if they do make a pick? Also, check back often during the 8:00 hour as I'll be updating this article if (or when) they lose a player or add a pick.
Let's start with who is eligible.
- Players who were 18-years-old when they signed as an international free agent or draft pick signed in 2013. This group includes players such as Kohl Stewart and Lewin Diaz.
- College players selected in the 2014 Draft. This category includes the likes of Nick Burdi and Jake Reed.
- Players who are not yet minor league free agents and have been eligible in previous seasons. Luke Bard and Ryan Eades are two from this group.
To make an MLB selection, a team must pay $100,000. That player needs to be on the drafting team’s 25-man roster all season or be offered back to the original team for $50,000. The other option is that the teams can work out a trade. The Twins have examples of what can happen with their five most recent picks.
- Scott Diamond – Twins selected him from the Braves. He did not make the opening day roster, but the Twins and Braves were able to work out a trade. Diamond was taken off of the 40-man roster and the Twins sent RHP Billy Bullock to Atlanta.
- Terry Doyle – The Twins selected Doyle from the White Sox organization. He was returned to Chicago late in spring training.
- Ryan Pressly – The Twins drafted Pressly from the Red Sox organization. He remained on the Twins roster the entire 2013 season. He was able to be sent back to AAA during the 2014 season and pitched well enough to be called up during the season’s second half.
- JR Graham - The Twins selected Graham from the Atlanta organization. He spent an entire season on the Twins roster in 2015 only to be DFAd less than two months into the 2016 season.
- Justin Haley - The Twins selected Miguel Diaz from the Brewers organization with the top pick in the 2016 Rule 5. They traded down and got starter Justin Haley. He made the roster and made a few appearances. He spent a couple of stints on the DL before the Twins sent him back to the Red Sox.
- Throughout the week, we have heard from several sources that Nick Burdi is very likely be be selected. The flame-thrower had Tommy John surgery in June and will likely miss much of the 2018 season. If he does, the requirement of staying on a team's active roster will carry into the 2019 season.
- Jake Reed and Luke Bard are two other relievers that I feel have a chance at least to be selected. They are both hard-throwing relievers who finished 2017 in AAA. They both get a lot of movement. They could be stashed on an MLB roster, but they are also guys who could contribute in 2018.
- Lewin Diaz is less likely to be selected due to his proximity and his lack of position flexibility.
- Ryan Eades had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League and did have a couple of appearances in AAA late in the season.
- Kohl Stewart was the Twins top pick in 2014 out of high school in Houston. He's put up strong ERAs (until 2017), but he's never put up the strikeout numbers that the front office might hope for.
I don't know if the Twins will make a pick. My general theory is that a team should almost always take a Rule 5 pick and see how it goes. The Twins have three open spots on the roster, so they could take three players. They won't, but they could take one. Here are two good sources for lists of who might be available.
Minor League Rule 5 Draft
Shortly after the Major League Rule 5 draft, the Minor League (AAA) portion will start. We'll also update you on any players the Twins gain or lose in that draft.
Feel free to discuss the Rule 5 draft before, during and after...
Click here to view the article