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  • List of Brewers Rule 5 Eligible Players - Who to Protect?


    Mass Haas

    With the minor league seasons wrapping up soon, we can begin to predict who the Brewers will be adding to their 40-man roster by November (or sooner) in order to prevent other organizations from plucking them in December's Rule 5 draft. All MLB teams need to finalize their Rule 5 protection "reserve" lists by November 20th. 

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    Via MLB.com -

    "Held each December, the Rule 5 Draft allows clubs without a full 40-man roster to select certain non-40-man roster players from other clubs. Clubs draft in reverse order of the standings from the previous season. Players signed at age 18 or younger need to be added to their club's 40-Man roster within five seasons or they become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. Players who signed at age 19 or older need to be protected within four seasons."

    In November 2021, even though the Rule 5 draft did not take place later that winter due to the lockout, all MLB teams had to finalize rosters. The Brewers did not deem any minor league player worthy of protection and no players were added to the 40-man. The player many considered as a possibility, OF/INF Korry Howell, would later be traded (along with catcher Brett Sullivan) to San Diego in the deal that netted catcher Victor Caratini. Howell was having a productive 2022 season prior to a season-ending injury in June and is currently ranked at #10 in Pipeline's most recent and heavily reconfigured Padres Top 30. But in many ways, Caratini has filled a critical role for the Crew. The Brewers don't regret the deal.

    Prior to the 2020 Rule 5, RHP's Alec Bettinger and Dylan File were added to the 40-man. Both were dropped from the 40-man this year, each clearing waivers. Bettinger was since released and has announced his retirement. File remains productive and the Brewers maintain his rights for the 2023 season. File is eligible to be re-added to the 40-man as shown below.

    Following this list of 62 eligible players, I'll briefly provide my thoughts on who I would protect if I were in the GM seat. But we really look forward to seeing your responses in the comments. Keep in mind that although they may be big leaguers soon, players like Sal Frelick, Garrett Mitchell, and Joey Wiemer do not need to be added to protect them from Rule 5. Their pro baseball journeys are too short at this point.

    Current Nashville Sounds:

    Current Biloxi Shuckers:

    Current Wisconsin Timber Rattlers:

    Current Carolina Mudcats:

    Current Maryvale Brewers:

     

    My Protection List:
    Brice Turang (Lock) - Most likely won't need to wait until November 20th and will see action down the stretch
    Cam Robinson - Rare for a pure reliever to be added, but hard to dispute the amazing 2021-2022 production
    Abner Uribe - Two pure relievers? It's today's MLB. Season-ending injury was a knee, not the 103 MPH arm.

    Not quite:
    Victor Castaneda, Justin Jarvis, Felix Valerio, Eduardo Garcia

    Just to wrap up, there is a Minor League Phase of the Rule 5 draft as well:

    For the Minor League phase, any player not protected on a 38-man Triple-A roster from that same group can be selected. Any team with a full 38-man Triple-A roster is not allowed to make a selection, but teams can make as many picks as they want until they get to 38 players.

    That doesn’t mean, as it does in the Major League phase, that a player selected has to stick at that level. If a team takes a player in the Minor League phase, it costs $24,500, paid to the original team. The selecting team can then send its new player to any level in its system it chooses.

    Without getting too deep into the woods, the Brewers will likely set their "AAA" roster to 35 to 36, leaving room for them to make a pick or two in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft if they wish. They will create that list from the 62 names above. Those not included will be eligible to be plucked in the minor league phase of Rule 5.

    Final note: You see names on the list above, namely Nashville C Brian Navarreto and RHP Marcus Walden, plus Biloxi RHP Arnaldo Hernandez and C Jason Lopez, that seemingly will not qualify for minor league free agency and do not appear on our previously published list of those players. We have reason to believe that these players are on current deals that extend their relationship with Milwaukee into 2023.

     

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    I agree with the three to protect as well as the other four as outside shots.  Cam went from long shot to a near lock with his meteoric rise thru the system.  I also think Erceg and Devanney have outside shots as well, though probably a bit lower than the four you mentioned.  Devanney could fill a utility role with some team and Erceg's heater may be tempting for team to pick. 

    Lutz has worked his way back into the conversation but still quite a longshot.  His strikeout numbers are still too high.

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    1 hour ago, ClosetBrewerFan said:

     I also think Erceg and Devanney have outside shots as well, though probably a bit lower than the four you mentioned.  Devanney could fill a utility role with some team and Erceg's heater may be tempting for team to pick. 

     

    Just a reminder that if the Brewers are considering Erceg that decision will be made about ten days earlier than the others, as Erceg qualifies for minor league free agency if not added.

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    Turang, Robinson, and Uribe are all locks from what I have heard.  Clayton Andrews is a guy that the organization is still quite high on so I wouldn’t be surprised if he is added.  

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    26 minutes ago, ARobsBrewCrew said:

    Turang, Robinson, and Uribe are all locks from what I have heard.  Clayton Andrews is a guy that the organization is still quite high on so I wouldn’t be surprised if he is added.  

    Yah, at this point with Robinson's promotion I can't see him not being kept.

    Andrews is kind of a sleeper, but between his size and the fact he hasn't pitched much since 2019, I don't know if he gets picked, especially this year when the missing COVID year is probably leading to a backlog of guys eligible.

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    4 hours ago, LouisEly said:

    Definitely: Turang, Robinson

    Probably: Jarvis, Uribe

    Maybe: Castaneda, Devanney

    Not even a maybe for Valerio? A guy with a 60 hit tool who gets doesn't strike out a ton and does walk a lot? It's a little tough for a 5'7 player who's primarily limited to 2B, a position we seem to have fairly well stocked at the moment, but nonetheless, someone who can play all IF positions along with CF. 

    After the season ends, anyone on the 60 day DL, they revert back and count against the 40 man, correct? We should be able to get down to ~30 40 man roster spots...though I'm sure Stearns will add a few players pretty quickly. 

    Obviously some of those will go to FAs/trades.

    I've love to be able to keep Turang, Uribe, Robinson, and then Victor Castaneda, Justin Jarvis, Felix Valerio...probably in that order.

    I wonder if the 26th man roster spot and full season MiLB will increase the # of rule 5 players changing teams or if it will have little impact. I thought there was an increase last year, no? I haven't really followed it all that closely the past few years. 

     

     

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    1 hour ago, UpandIn said:

    Not even a maybe for Valerio? A guy with a 60 hit tool who gets doesn't strike out a ton and does walk a lot? It's a little tough for a 5'7 player who's primarily limited to 2B, a position we seem to have fairly well stocked at the moment, but nonetheless, someone who can play all IF positions along with CF.

    I guess at that point it’s just playing the odds.  There are many guys on the lists above that the organization desperately wants to keep.  It’s just extremely unlikely that guys like Castaneda, Jarvis, or Valerio would be picked simply because there is a number of other prospects every year that are “MLB-ready” and have had better numbers at higher levels than those I have just mentioned, and most of those players don’t even get picked because most organizations aren’t even in a position to take a chance on that roster spot.  That doesn’t mean that the Brewers don’t value those guys, it’s just they (and the other organizations) know those players aren’t ready yet.

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    2 hours ago, UpandIn said:

    Not even a maybe for Valerio? A guy with a 60 hit tool who gets doesn't strike out a ton and does walk a lot? It's a little tough for a 5'7 player who's primarily limited to 2B, a position we seem to have fairly well stocked at the moment, but nonetheless, someone who can play all IF positions along with CF. 

     

    Rule 5 decisions aren't really about talent and potential only. Despite his struggles this year, there is still a lot of promise for Valerio, but is he someone you'd want to keep on your active roster for a whole season at this point? 76 wRC+ in AA, and while he has played multiple positions I get the impression that it's not because he's a great defender, but about finding him at bats. So he's not your defensive swiss army knife like Hernán Perez either. If it was a waivers situation where a team could pick him up and option him, I'm sure someone would. But for the active roster? I seriously doubt he's getting picked if unprotected. If a team really was willing to carry a position player who they expected to contribute very little in 2023, I imagine there would be players out there with higher upside to go for. 

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    2 hours ago, Lathund said:

    Rule 5 decisions aren't really about talent and potential only. Despite his struggles this year, there is still a lot of promise for Valerio, but is he someone you'd want to keep on your active roster for a whole season at this point? 76 wRC+ in AA, and while he has played multiple positions I get the impression that it's not because he's a great defender, but about finding him at bats. So he's not your defensive swiss army knife like Hernán Perez either. If it was a waivers situation where a team could pick him up and option him, I'm sure someone would. But for the active roster? I seriously doubt he's getting picked if unprotected. If a team really was willing to carry a position player who they expected to contribute very little in 2023, I imagine there would be players out there with higher upside to go for. 

    Well...if I was running a team that was projected to lose 90+ games anyway(or even a team that's going to lose 80 and they know they won't be competitive) then I'd argue talent and potential is pretty big. And it's not like he'd be going from A ball to the Big leagues. AA to MLB. Not all that rare of a jump. 

    I get we have to be selective, but...yeah, I think there are teams that would take a prospect like him and sit him for most of a year, especially with the 26th man. He'd be the highest rated prospect we'd have left unprotected in a while, wouldn't he? 


    I could definitely see the A's taking a guy like him. A team that's probably going to lose 90-100 games, doesn't have much 2B depth and keep him on the roster for 90 days and then like Wei-chung Wang, he starts dealing with some injuries and they get him through to next year. 


    There are a lot of guys, I was just asking if he'd given Valerio any consideration. 

     

     

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    21 minutes ago, UpandIn said:

    Well...if I was running a team that was projected to lose 90+ games anyway(or even a team that's going to lose 80 and they know they won't be competitive) then I'd argue talent and potential is pretty big. And it's not like he'd be going from A ball to the Big leagues. AA to MLB. Not all that rare of a jump. 

    I get we have to be selective, but...yeah, I think there are teams that would take a prospect like him and sit him for most of a year, especially with the 26th man. He'd be the highest rated prospect we'd have left unprotected in a while, wouldn't he? 


    I could definitely see the A's taking a guy like him. A team that's probably going to lose 90-100 games, doesn't have much 2B depth and keep him on the roster for 90 days and then like Wei-chung Wang, he starts dealing with some injuries and they get him through to next year. 

    You (and I for that matter) would think there are teams that would, but they almost never do. Very few position players get picked in the rule 5 draft; 3 in 2020 and 2019, 4 in 2018, 3½ (1 2-way player) in 2017. It's a big deal for teams, even rebuilding ones, to roster a player without the, uh, option to option them, that they absolutely do not want playing. I know on here every year we tend to overestimate how many players will be protected, and yet none of the ones left unprotected in recent years have been taken.  He might very well be the highest rated prospect left unprotected in a while (If he does go unprotected), I just happen to think he's really not the type of prospect who gets picked in the Rule 5 draft. He's not a pitcher, he's not an elite defender, his bat right now isn't good enough to play. You could perhaps live with that if the player had a high enough upside, but Valerio doesn't have the power or the defense/position to be a star, even if he could very well be a good player. 

    It's not completely out of the realm of possibility that someone picks him, but not a high enough risk to be worth spending 1-2 years on the 40-man without contributing IMO. 

     

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    Should be noted that the Brewers will have at least five open spots to protect players, so the three that most people are suggesting should be no issue to protect.  The roster is currently full at 40 with one man on the 60 day IL.  They have five players who will be free agents and I expect they will decline Wong's club option but select Boxberger's very reasonable $3M club option. 

    There are a couple non-tender candidates (Suter, Gustave) plus some players they could clear (Kelley, J.Davis, Topa) so there really is no reason to not at least protect three and possible one or two more.  I think it will be just three as the Brewers like 40 man roster flexibility.  If Frelick gets called up this year, I would expect he would take Davis's spot so that wont affect the rule 5 protection.  Cant imagine Davis making it through the offseason with Frelick, Ruiz, Mitchell, and Wiemer all waiting in the wings to fill outfield spots.  This is the most OF depth the Brewers have had as far as I can imagine (counting Chourio, Mendez, Hedbert, Avina, Castillo, Lutz, etc)

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    4 hours ago, UpandIn said:

    Well...if I was running a team that was projected to lose 90+ games anyway(or even a team that's going to lose 80 and they know they won't be competitive) then I'd argue talent and potential is pretty big. And it's not like he'd be going from A ball to the Big leagues. AA to MLB. Not all that rare of a jump. 

    I get we have to be selective, but...yeah, I think there are teams that would take a prospect like him and sit him for most of a year, especially with the 26th man. He'd be the highest rated prospect we'd have left unprotected in a while, wouldn't he? 


    I could definitely see the A's taking a guy like him. A team that's probably going to lose 90-100 games, doesn't have much 2B depth and keep him on the roster for 90 days and then like Wei-chung Wang, he starts dealing with some injuries and they get him through to next year. 


    There are a lot of guys, I was just asking if he'd given Valerio any consideration. 

     

     

    I think there are going to be a lot of Valerio types left unprotected this year. The COVID year backed up a lot of players’ progress making more eligible players more years away from the majors. Turang and Robinson are arguably MLB ready and Uribe throws 102-mph fastballs. Those are easier to roster than a promising player who should probably start the year in AA and ideally would probably be a second-base only guy.

    Outside of the top three, I think Castaneda has the best chance of getting picked both because more pitchers typically get chosen and because I know I have read some thoughts that his stuff would play better in relief, the role he would have in the big leagues at this point.

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    Joseph Zarr
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
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    3 hours ago, CheeseheadInQC said:

    I think there are going to be a lot of Valerio types left unprotected this year. The COVID year backed up a lot of players’ progress making more eligible players more years away from the majors. Turang and Robinson are arguably MLB ready and Uribe throws 102-mph fastballs. Those are easier to roster than a promising player who should probably start the year in AA and ideally would probably be a second-base only guy.

    Outside of the top three, I think Castaneda has the best chance of getting picked both because more pitchers typically get chosen and because I know I have read some thoughts that his stuff would play better in relief, the role he would have in the big leagues at this point.

    My counterpoint to Castaneda is the development and work we might see from lefty Clayton Andrews -@ARobsBrewCrewalludes to above (I very nearly included him in my comment above - he's still very young, he's a lefty, and he's shown solid success across all levels before injuries derailed his initial Triple-A bid.). Will they use this final 3-4 weeks to help inform this decision now that Andrews is in Biloxi (if the weather even allows them to play a game, that is)? I'm unsure, but it is probably a consideration especially given what ARob is telling us. Given Cam Devanney can fill in quite well at 3B and is just a really good defender, I'd have to consider given his maturation and development at the plate in 2022 and his improving frame and body he'd have to be a serious consideration as well. It will be interesting to see what happens - that much is certain.

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    As far as rolling the dice is concerned, I think we'd be in more danger losing Devanney than Valerio. I think Felix rebounds next year repeating AA (at least to start the season) & re-establishes himself to those whose radar he may have fallen off of. Having said that he had his struggles this season & I can't see him getting plucked. A longshot, but with the universal DH I wonder if someone considers Lutz.

    Glad to hear the projections re Robinson being protected.

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    Agreed - Valerio was in my consideration set (actually, the next guy at #7), but like others have said every year there are guys like him available but rarely picked.  I agree that they are more likely to lose Devanney (harder to find a SS with good offensive production than 2B) than Valerio, and I don't see them having more than six spots to add people, thus why I had Devanney on my list and not Valerio.

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    I think the list put together by Mass Haas is the way I would go as well. Would consider Valerio being only 21 but hard to believe another team would keep him on the roster all year. If a Devanney/Lutz/Andrews type got drafted I would be glad they had the opportunity but don't really see a Brewer being picked.

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    damuelle
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
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    I'm very curious how the Rule 5 Draft will go this year. In theory, the extra MLB roster spot (26 vs. 25), universal DH (less in-game substitution in the NL) and 3-batter rule (fewer LOOGYs) will make it easier to stash an extra player, thus countering the 30-year trend of needing more MLB roster space for relief pitchers.

    However, the cap on total pitchers on the MLB roster (i.e. 13 maximum) actually means it's easier to stash young hitters, not necessarily young pitchers. Just look at how many plate appearances that Jonathan Davis has gotten over the past month.

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    Joseph Zarr
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
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    6 minutes ago, damuelle said:

    I'm very curious how the Rule 5 Draft will go this year. In theory, the extra MLB roster spot (26 vs. 25), universal DH (less in-game substitution in the NL) and 3-batter rule (fewer LOOGYs) will make it easier to stash an extra player, thus countering the 30-year trend of needing more MLB roster space for relief pitchers.

    However, the cap on total pitchers on the MLB roster (i.e. 13 maximum) actually means it's easier to stash young hitters, not necessarily young pitchers. Just look at how many plate appearances that Jonathan Davis has gotten over the past month.

    Very salient points! Lots for teams to consider and potentially a changing landscape given the new parameters.

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    Devanney has been playing quite a lot at 3B this year, not exactly a position we're deep at. So I hope he squeaks through if left exposed.

    They aren't still viewing Andrews through a two-way lens, are they?

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    Joseph Zarr
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
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    1 minute ago, Jim French Stepstool said:

    Devanney has been playing quite a lot at 3B this year, not exactly a position we're deep at. So I hope he squeaks through if left exposed.

    They aren't still viewing Andrews through a two-way lens, are they?

    Nope, the only two-way player currently in the system is one Quinton Low. Andrews is strictly a pitcher now.

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    3 hours ago, damuelle said:

    I'm very curious how the Rule 5 Draft will go this year. In theory, the extra MLB roster spot (26 vs. 25), universal DH (less in-game substitution in the NL) and 3-batter rule (fewer LOOGYs) will make it easier to stash an extra player, thus countering the 30-year trend of needing more MLB roster space for relief pitchers.

    However, the cap on total pitchers on the MLB roster (i.e. 13 maximum) actually means it's easier to stash young hitters, not necessarily young pitchers. Just look at how many plate appearances that Jonathan Davis has gotten over the past month.

    This was my thought...though I'll be honest, I didn't really consider the 13 pitcher limit, more just the extra roster spot and the DH. 

    I was just curious how close people have Valerio to protecting him, if people thought he could be picked.


    The arguments against make sense. He's 21, been pushed aggressively, but also limited defensively and hasn't had a big year offensively. 

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    Joseph Zarr
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
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    7 hours ago, Jim French Stepstool said:

    Devanney has been playing quite a lot at 3B this year, not exactly a position we're deep at. So I hope he squeaks through if left exposed.

    They aren't still viewing Andrews through a two-way lens, are they?

    Yes. Yes he has. AND, he's stellar at the hot corner. He can absolutely nail down SS and 3B in a pinch. From earlier this season in Mississippi. He makes fielding look so easy - he has all year.

     

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    On one hand, I can see a GM going down the list and saying "I want three of these guys." Because they have some potential.
    On the other hand, GMs aren't just looking at the Brewers; they'd have to like our guy more than all the other available players from the other teams. Plus usually there aren't many players who get selected. 

    Turang is the only one that should definitely be protected.

    Richards and Uribe haven't been healthy; unless a GM has had a man-crush on them for years, I don't see them getting selected.

    I know Robinson has been very good,  but it's only for one year. What kind of stuff does he have? Most teams don't put their best prospects in the pen. I can't see a GM getting excited unless he throws 98mph. He's very young to be eligible. 
    Devanney has been good only this year. He wasn't a highly touted prospect. I've got to believe that most teams have someone they think is better in the minors. I think his floor is eventually as a AAAA callup, like Reyes or Mathias. That has little value. . Of course some of those guys turn into Jace, who has more value. 

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    4 hours ago, Robocaller said:

    On one hand, I can see a GM going down the list and saying "I want three of these guys." Because they have some potential.
    On the other hand, GMs aren't just looking at the Brewers; they'd have to like our guy more than all the other available players from the other teams. Plus usually there aren't many players who get selected. 

    Turang is the only one that should definitely be protected.

    Richards and Uribe haven't been healthy; unless a GM has had a man-crush on them for years, I don't see them getting selected.

    I know Robinson has been very good,  but it's only for one year. What kind of stuff does he have? Most teams don't put their best prospects in the pen. I can't see a GM getting excited unless he throws 98mph. He's very young to be eligible. 
    Devanney has been good only this year. He wasn't a highly touted prospect. I've got to believe that most teams have someone they think is better in the minors. I think his floor is eventually as a AAAA callup, like Reyes or Mathias. That has little value. . Of course some of those guys turn into Jace, who has more value. 

    What you say is definitely fair, but I think you should check again on Robinson and Devanney.  This is not the first season in which either has impressed.  Also, I don’t know who Richards is :) 

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