The deadline to protect players for the Rule 5 Draft has passed. Of the players left off rosters, who could the Cleveland Indians look to add?
The Rule 5 Draft presents an interesting opportunity for teams, like the Cleveland Indians, to fill gaps on their roster. While every year there are players that are taken to make an impact, the Rule 5 Draft this year might be the most important it has been in recent memory. In an offseason where teams are attempting to save money, adding a player through the Rule 5 Draft could be the perfect move.
Players that signed at the age of 18 or younger become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if they aren’t added to the 40-man roster within five seasons. Players that are signed when they are 19 or older have four seasons. If these players aren’t added to the 40-man roster, then they can be drafted by the other 29 teams in the league during the Rule 5 Draft, but there is a catch.
For each player selected during the Rule 5 Draft, the team that picked a player has to pay $100,000 and keep the player on their major league roster for the entirety of the upcoming season. If the player doesn’t stay on the roster for the full season, then they are offered back to their original club for $50,000.
In an offseason where every team is attempting to save money, the Rule 5 Draft could see a lot of action. The minimum salary in Major League Baseball is just over $570,000. Paying a player that much, plus the $100,000 to select them, is much cheaper than trying to find a player on the free agent market.
For a team like the Cleveland Indians who are looking to save as much money as possible, the Rule 5 Draft could be a key cog in the club’s offseason. While there are plenty of players that will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, here are five that the Cleveland Indians should look into a bit more.