Ahead of the midnight deadline to shield minor league players from the Rule 5 Draft, four prospects have been added to the Phillies’ 40-man roster.
C Tommy Joseph, LHP Rob Rasmussen, and OFs Aaron Altherr and Kelly Dugan have been added. The Phillies’ 40-man roster stands at 39 players, following these four additions, and the recent signings of C Carlos Ruiz and OF Marlon Byrd.
The Rule 5 draft is the second MLB draft of the calendar year, taking place in December and consisting of only professional players. Teams draft in the same order as the following year’s first year draft, so the Phillies will have the 7th pick if they so choose (teams can either decline to pick, or are unable to pick if their 40 man roster is filled).
From MLB.com, minor leaguers that qualify for the Rule 5 draft are:
Players who were signed when they were 19 or older and have played in professional baseball for four years are eligible, as are players who were signed at 18 and have played for five years.
In order to prevent minor league players of those qualifications from being eligible, they must be added to their club’s 40-man roster before the November deadline. Three of the four prospects (Altherr, Dugan, and Joseph) were all but certain to be protected.
Rasmussen, acquired from the Red Sox at the end of the season for John McDonald (who? really?) is the only relative surprise.
With the signing of Ruiz and addition of Joseph, there are now five catchers on the 40-man roster, a high number. Sebastian Valle is likely to be designated for assignment, along with possibly Tyson Gillies and one of Jeremy Horst/Joe Savery (in order to lower the roster count for any new signings). It is unknown if the recent signing of utilityman Reid Brignac will affect the roster.
Phillies prospects (a loose term in this case, honestly) still exposed to the Rule 5 draft include Carlos Alonso, David Buchanan, Brody Colvin, Justin Dalles, Perci Garner, Mario Hollands, Mike Nesseth, and Seth Rosin, among others.
Were one to be selected in the draft (or if the Phillies select someone from another team), that player must remain on the selecting team’s major league 25-man roster for the entirety of the season, otherwise they are offered back to their original team.