The MLB Rule 5 draft took place today during the winter meetings. If you are unaware of what the Rule 5 draft is, you can read a full breakdown of the rules and player qualifications for the draft here. In short, the clubs without a full 40-man roster may select players from other organizations that have been left off their team's 40-man roster. Teams must add their selections to the major league roster for at least 90 days. After 90 days, they may waive the player by offering them back to their original team.
The Chicago Cubs decided not to draft anybody in the major league portion of the rule 5 draft today. This is good news, though. The team has a few roster spots to fill, so by not drafting anybody, they are surely going to fill those spots through free agency. However, they did lose a player. Right-handed pitcher Chris Clarke was taken in the first round by the Seattle Mariners. Clarke is a big body that projects well, but his minor-league stats are not great. The 6'7 pitcher was drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 draft by the Cubs. In his minor league career, Clarke has pitched 196 2/3 innings. He has a 4.26 ERA in those innings while racking up 185 strikeouts. However, in his minor league career, opponents are hitting .288 off of him. The Mariners must see the potential in him, but it is easy to see why he was left unprotected by the Cubs. Of course, we wish him the best as he will be making his big league debut in 2023.
What is unknown about this day is the triple-A rule 5 draft that happens along with it. In this draft, teams with less than 38 players on their triple-A roster may make a selection. The same players eligible for the MLB rule 5 draft are eligible for this one. The difference here is that when players get drafted, they do not need to be put on the 40-man roster. Instead, they can be put into any level of the farm system the drafting team chooses.
In this portion, the Cubs added three new faces to their minor league system. They drafted left-handed pitcher Jose Aquino from the Mariners complex league roster, right-handed pitcher Nick Burdi (from Hinsdale, Illinois) from the San Diego Padres double A roster, and outfielder Jefferson Encarnacion from the Philadelphia Phillies single A roster.
The Cubs also lost two players from their farm system in this draft, both to the Houston Astros. The Astros selected left-handed pitcher Bryan King from the Cubs double A roster and left-handed pitcher Luis Angel Rodriguez from the Cubs single A roster.
The full draft results of the MLB and triple A rule 5 draft can be found here.