Yesterday was the deadline for teams to add prospects to their 40-man rosters that need to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft. If you’re unfamiliar with what the Rule 5 Draft is, here’s a brief description from MLB.com.
Held each December, the Rule 5 Draft allows clubs without a full 40-man roster to select certain non-40-man roster players from other clubs. Clubs draft in reverse order of the standings from the previous season. Players signed at age 18 or younger need to be added to their club’s 40-Man roster within five seasons or they become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. Players who signed at age 19 or older need to be protected within four seasons.
Not every club will make a selection, but those that do pick a player must pay $100,000 to the club from which said player was selected. Rule 5 Draft picks are assigned directly to the drafting club’s 26-man roster and must be placed on outright waivers in order to be removed from the 26-man roster in the subsequent season. Should the player clear waivers, he must be offered back to his previous team for $50,000 and can be outrighted to the Minors only if his original club does not wish to reacquire him.
Essentially, it’s a draft full of players that have been in a system for a long period of time and have not yet cracked the 40-man roster. If one of those players is selected by another team in the Rule 5 Draft, they must remain on their new team’s active roster for the entire season, which is an important caveat.
Given the Braves’ rather barren farm system, the Rule 5 Draft shouldn’t be much of concern, which is why they decided not to make any roster moves. Most of their top prospects are either too young, making them not eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, or already on the 40-man roster. It’s difficult to imagine another club drafting one of their eligible prospects and placing them on the active roster for the entire season, but if there are a couple of potential candidates, they are Luis De Avila and Jesse Franklin.
De Avila is probably the most likely Braves prospect to get selected in the Rule 5 Draft. He was unhittable at times for the Mississippi Braves, recording a 3.28 ERA and 9.1 K/9 over 25 starts. The fact that he’s 22-year-old also makes him an attractive piece, but he’s only made one appearance at the AAA level to this point. A rebuilding team would have to absolutely love De Avila to take a shot on him and keep him on the active roster for the entire season this early in his career.
Jesse Franklin was a third round selection in the Braves 2020 draft that also featured the likes of Jared Shuster, Spencer Strider, and Bryce Elder. That’s pretty amazing considering the draft was only five rounds due to COVID, and the Braves only had four selections. Of the four, Franklin is the only one yet to make his MLB debut. He’s a toolsy outfielder with some pop, but injuries have slowed his development. Like De Avila, I highly doubt someone takes a chance on Franklin by putting them on their active roster for the entire season.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire