Chicago Cubs: Team escapes Rule 5 Draft relatively unscatherd


With one of the best farm systems in baseball, you might be surprised by the fact the Chicago Cubs survived the Rule 5 Draft without any losses.

There’s only so much room to protect top players, and the Chicago Cubs did all they could. But at the end of the day, they expected to suffer some losses in the major league phase of the draft. But miraculously, they went unscathed. The consensus was they may lose Corey Black, but he went undrafted and the farm remains relatively intact.

In the Triple-A Phase, the Cubs  selected outfielders Michael O’Neill from the St. Louis Cardinals and Jesus Loya from the Boston Red Sox, as well catcher David Freitas from the Baltimore Orioles. Speaking of the Orioles, the Cubs did lose reliever Edgar Olmos on a waiver claim.

For the Cubs, they lost second baseman Pin-Chieh Chen to the Cincinnati Reds, left-handers Ariel Ovando to the Los Angeles Angels and Michael Heesch to the Cardinals and pitcher Julian Aybar to the New York Yankees. Each selection in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft cost $12,000.

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The intention of the Rule 5 Draft was to prevent teams from “stockpiling” talent in the minors. The draft allows teams to pick from players at a cost of $50,000 in the MLB phase that meet the requirements, and aren’t on a team’s 40-man roster. The player must then spend the entire season on the Major League roster or be offered back to the original team at a cost of $25,000. If the team declines, he can then be waived.

The tricky part of the draft is that most players that remain unprotected generally aren’t thought to be MLB “ready”, hence, teams protect the players they think are and also have room to protect. Hector Rondon was a Rule 5 pick in 2012. For the Cubs, they weren’t in contention and were able to “hide” him in the bullpen–allowing him to pitch in low-leverage situations. The pick worked out well for the Cubs.

Next: MLB asking team's to improve safety nets

On a side note, the Orioles claim for Olmos forced them to make a move on their 40-man roster, and that move was designating former Cubs’ outfield Junior Lake for assignment.