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Rule 5 Draft Update

November 9, 2008
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Remember that 2008 Indians Rule 5 eligibles list I posted almost two weeks ago? Well, as I mentioned the list was unofficial and there may be some changes (for the better) with who is actually available.

Since I have written the "Who Gets Rostered" article last week, I have been made aware of some things and this listing will be changing as I verify more information.

So what changed? Well, maybe things have changed for the better as some of these names on the 2008 eligibles list may not be eligible after all. The problem with an unofficial list like I have is knowing what college players or Latin kids 19 and older signed a 2005 or a 2006 contract, and what high school or Latin free agents under 19 years of age signed a 2004 or 2005 contract. There is no published literature from the Indians that indicates what kind of contract was signed, just when they signed. Which is HUGE.

The problem is verifying what players signed a contract for the same year they signed, or those who signed a contract effective the year after they signed. For example, Neil Wagner signed in August 2005 but it was a 2006 contract and not effective in 2005, which of course changes everything. What this means is he is not Rule 5 eligible since this is only his third Rule 5 Draft since the "effective date of his signed contract". Supposedly Frank Herrmann also signed a 2006 contract, but I haven't talked to him and verified this yet.

Basically, anyone who did not pitch/play in their draft year or their signing date year is in question, and thus makes this a painful process! The actual dates these players signed are published, the effective dates of the contracts are not. Very few contracts are made effective the year after a player signs, but there are a handful of them and now I need to try and sort this out somehow since verification on this is limited.

This could also mean Hector Rondon or Kelvin De La Cruz are NOT eligible this year because Rondon signed August 2004 and did not pitch until 2005 and obviously De La Cruz signed December 2004 and did not pitch until 2005. In fact, I am almost 100% sure De La Cruz is not eligible now since why would he sign a contract effective in 2004 when he signed December 2004? If both signed 2005 contracts, then they should NOT be eligible. At least that is how I understand it. Good news for us.

Here are the players who did not play in their signing year and who this impacts:

Kelvin De La Cruz (LHP)
Frank Herrmann (RHP)
Anillins Martinez (LHP)
Carlton Smith (RHP)
Neil Wagner (RHP)
Carlos Santana (C)
Juan Aponte (INF)
Jerad Head (INF/OF)
Jansey Infante (INF)
Isaias Velasquez (INF)
Lucas Montero (OF)
Angel Rodriguez (OF)

As you can see, this changes the landscape of who the Indians protect if some guys like Santana, Rondon, and De La Cruz did sign future contracts.

I am researching this now and hope to know more later in the week. The hard and near impossible part of all this is verifying the start year of the contract. This is the hard part when putting together an unofficial listing. Aside from this one quirk, everything else is accurate.

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