Rule 5 draft begins at 10 AM ET Thursday, Mets unlikely to take anyone

BaronThe Rule 5 draft begins at 10:00 am ET on Thursday at the Winter Meetings in Nashville.

The rule is designed to prevent teams from hoarding players in their minor league system for an infinite amount of time.

Any player who was 18 years old or younger on the June 5 before they signed their first professional contract, and this is the fifth Rule 5 draft since their signing date is eligible for exposure. In addition, if a player was 19 years old or older on the June 5 before they signed their first professional contract, and this is the fourth Rule 5 draft since their signing date, he is eligible for exposure.

A player selected in the Rule 5 draft is assigned a fee of $50,000 to his original organization. That player must remain on his new team’s Major League active roster for the entire season. If he is removed from the active roster and goes unclaimed through waivers, that player must be offered back to his original organization for $25,000.

The Mets added OF Brandon Nimmo, RHP Seth Lugo, and RHP Robert Gsellman to the 40-man roster in late November to protect them from the Rule 5 draft, but they did not protect TJ Rivera, Matt Bowman or Wuilmer Becerra, so they could conceivably taken by other teams on Thursday.

Rule 5 draftBowman would be more at risk of being lost than Becerra, considering he is close to big league ready and could have a legitimate shot at cracking a roster on Opening Day. Becerra, meanwhile, seems less likely to be taken considering he has never played higher than Low-A Savannah, putting his timeframe at 2-3 years away from being big league ready.

However, if a rebuilding club has a roster spot they can afford to burn throughout the regular season, Becerra could be at risk. However, the Mets are betting that no team will take him only to be highly likely to return him for half of what they paid.

As for who the Mets take, their 40-man roster will be full once they officially announce the signing of Asdrubal Cabrera, so it’s not likely at all that the Mets will add someone from the draft.

They could conceivably draft someone as a favor to a club with a lower draft slot and do a cash trade, but that remains to be seen.

In 2014, the Mets selected Sean Gilmartin in the Rule 5 draft, and he turned into one of the great stories for the club in 2015, ultimately becoming Mets property after he turned in a splendid rookie campaign.

They also lost Logan Verrett to the Orioles in the 2014 Rule 5 draft, but had him returned in April by the Rangers after the Orioles waived him.

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