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Rule-5 Draft: Who the Angels Chose to Protect

One name only: Randal Grichuk.

Randall Grichuk
Randall Grichuk

Players need to be added to the 40-man roster tonight if teams want to protect them from potential selection by other teams in next month's Rule-5 draft. The selection criteria for the Rule-5 draft are a little baroque (see this Wikipedia article for the full rundown), but the crucial components are chiefly age and draft year:

Players are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft who are not on their major league organization's 40-man roster and:

– were 18 or younger on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is the fifth Rule 5 draft upcoming; or

– were 19 or older on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is fourth Rule 5 draft upcoming.

The Angels have not always been tremendously wise, or lucky, in whom they have chosen to protect from the Rule-5 draft. Players lost to recent drafts include Darren O'Day, Miguel Gonzalez, Robert Mosebach, David Herndon, Robert Fish, Mason Tobin and Angel Sanchez. Of those, O'Day, Gonzalez and Herndon have all become useful pieces of MLB bullpens (though Gonzalez needed TJ surgery before getting there).

At the same time, the Angels have not selected a player in the Rule 5 draft since 2005. Often this is because the front office chooses to keep their 40-man roster completely filled, which means they have no open slots to participate in the Rule-5 selection process. At present, after the Angels chose to add Randal Grichuk to their 40 today, once again their extended roster is completely filled and they will not avail themselves of the Rule-5 draft to potentially improve their club, should they make no changes.

Here are some of the players the front office has chosen to expose to the Rule-5 draft:

  • Jeremy Berg
  • Matt Long
  • Roberto Lopez
  • Carlos Ramirez
  • Kevin Johnson
  • Ryan Chaffee
  • David Carpenter
  • Mike Piazza
  • Rolando Gomez

Here are some of the players the front office feels are more crucial to retain on the roster than the above players:

  • John Hester
  • Chris Nelson
  • Tommy Hanson
  • Joe Blanton
  • Juan Gutierrez
  • Cory Rasmus
  • Robert Carson
  • Josh Wall
  • Ryan Brasier
  • Efren Navarro
  • Tommy Field
  • Collin Cowgill

I would hardly shed a tear if any of those twelve were to happily find employment elsewhere.

On the other hand, it's hard for me to imagine Jeremy Berg not being drafted this time, given his excellent peripherals and success in the PCL. Meanwhile, Matt Long provides similar value to Kole Calhoun, with a bit less power, and more speed and glove. Carlos Ramirez and Roberto Lopez both have some value. Ramirez threw out 43% of would-be basestealers last season, is an excellent pitch-handler, and hits lefties well (.827 OPS in Arkansas). A good platoon option, to be sure. Lopez may be unlikely to be selected, but he's a useful utility guy who has even put some time in at catcher and third base.