The deadline for teams to protect minor league players from the Rule 5 Draft has passed, with the Philadelphia Phillies opting not to add any players to the 40-man roster, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
MLB teams had until Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET to add Rule 5-eligible players to their 40-man roster to protect them from being taken in this year's Rule 5 Draft, which takes place on Dec. 6.
The Phillies had 46 Rule 5-eligible players when Tuesday began, but an early afternoon trade that sent AFL breakout Oliver Dunn to the Milwaukee Brewers brought that number down to 45. They end the day still with two empty spots on the 40-man roster.
Notable players the Phillies didn't protect from the Rule 5 Draft
The Phillies have two MLB Pipeline Top-30 Prospects who aren't on the 40-man roster and are Rule 5-eligible this year. They opted not to protect their No. 6 prospect, outfielder Carlos De La Cruz, and their No. 27 prospect, left-handed pitcher Samuel Aldegheri.
De La Cruz, who was the most likely candidate to be added, has been a pleasant surprise for the Phillies, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2017. The 24-year-old played the 2023 season in Double-A Reading and hit .259 with a .797 OPS, 24 home runs, 25 doubles, and 67 RBI in 129 games. He's currently playing in the Dominican Winter League, hitting just .167 and has four strikeouts in six at-bats through four games.
Aldegheri, 22, pitched in Low- and High-A this past season and isn't in danger of being taken in the Rule 5 Draft. He finished the year with a 4.20 ERA and racked up 99 strikeouts in 83 2/3 innings over 20 games (19 starts).
Matt Kroon, 26, had himself quite a year between High-A, Double-A, Triple-A, and the AFL. He spent most of the season in Reading, where he slashed .319/.387/.493 with eight home runs and 22 steals in 79 games. In his 15 games with Lehigh Valley, the versatile defender hit .381 with a 1.165 OPS, three homers, 13 RBI, and four stolen bases.
Other AFL participants who are Rule 5 eligible this winter include pitchers Jordi Martinez and Dominic Pipkin, although neither is likely to be snatched up by anyone. Martinez, 23, threw 57 1/3 innings with a 3.92 ERA between High- and Double-A this year. He had a 4.63 ERA across 11 2/3 innings in the AFL. Pipkin, 24, had a 3.66 ERA in 19 2/3 innings in Double-A this year and threw 2 2/3 clean innings in the AFL.