Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg have all inked new contracts this week, ones that guarantee them a sniff less than a billion dollars in guaranteed money. A billion. With a b. Buh buh buh billion.
MLB’s Winter Meetings have featured the kind of top-end action rarely witnessed this week, and while the Cincinnati Reds have largely been rendered second-fiddle in their attempts to land the biggest of free agent fish, there’s still a chance they walk away from San Diego with a new face (or two) on the roster. That could come courtesy of today’s Rule 5 Draft, if nowhere else.
The Rule 5 Draft usually features more balking than selecting, as teams choose whether to gamble on the unprotected portions of their rivals’ farm systems in hopes of landing a diamond in the rough. Sometimes, they luck out - the likes of Johan Santana and Shane Victorino were successful finds in years past. Sometimes, they end up with Stuart Turner languishing awkwardly on their bench for a year, never to pan out, or even return their selections long before regular season play begins.
The fact is, though, that the Rule 5 may carry a bit more importance this year. As roster’s expand to include a 26th spot, it will be easier for teams to hide their selections than ever in 2020, so perhaps you’ll see more teams taking fliers here today. The Reds have the ability to do so given that they’ve got open spots on their 40-man roster, and there are certainly some reasonably attractive potential targets out there.
Of course, the flip side of that is that they’ve left unprotected a few notable names in their own system as the cost. The likes of TJ Friedl, Alfredo Rodriguez, & Co. highlight names the Reds could have added to their roster to protect them from being plucked by other clubs, but opted against it, so today could well end up their final day as members of the Reds. The same can be said of one Brandon Finnegan, too, though who knows what level of goo his shoulders sit at today.
The action begins at noon ET, and the Reds have the 12th overall pick. Get your popcorn ready and follow it with us.
For a preview and info on the rules of the Rule 5 Draft, check out this from MLB.com.