Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Who needs to be protected?

US Presswire photo
Mike Rizzo has some roster decisions to make today.
One of baseball's many obscure deadlines strikes tonight at midnight, when players eligible for the Rule 5 draft must be added to their club's 40-man rosters or else risk being snatched away by other organizations.

Rarely do these decisions result in total disaster for teams -- how many people even remember the Nationals lost Brad Meyers and Erik Komatsu in last year's Rule 5 draft, and how many of those remember both players were ultimately returned to the organization? -- but there's always a chance a team could make a major miscalculation and lose a top prospect.

So general manager Mike Rizzo and his player development folks have some important decisions to make before the end of the night.

For the uninitiated (or the confused) here's a quick refresher course on how this all works...

-- Any players in the Nationals' organization who signed at age 18 and have played in parts of at least five seasons, plus any who signed at age 19 and have played in parts of at least four seasons, must be added to the 40-man roster by tonight.

-- Any players who meet those qualifications and aren't added to the roster are free to be selected by another club in the Rule 5 draft (which is held on Dec. 6).

-- Those players must then remain on their new club's 25-man roster (or disabled list) an entire season or else be offered back.

As things stand at this moment, the Nationals have 36 players on their 40-man roster:

PITCHERS (16) -- Tyler Clippard, Ross Detwiler, Christian Garcia, Gio Gonzalez, Tom Gorzelanny, Cole Kimball, John Lannan, Ryan Mattheus, Yunesky Maya, Ryan Perry, Matt Purke, Henry Rodriguez, Craig Stammen, Drew Storen, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann

CATCHERS (5) -- Jesus Flores, Sandy Leon, Wilson Ramos, Jhonatan Solano, Kurt Suzuki

INFIELDERS (8) -- Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Steve Lombardozzi, Chris Marrero, Anthony Rendon, Carlos Rivero, Chad Tracy, Ryan Zimmerman

OUTFIELDERS (7) -- Roger Bernadina, Corey Brown, Bryce Harper, Tyler Moore, Michael Morse, Eury Perez, Jayson Werth

So, in theory, the Nationals have room to add four Rule 5-eligible players to the 40-man roster today. But they probably want to keep at least one or two open slots for free agents or trade acquisitions, lest they be forced to release someone else to clear space.

What minor leaguers are Rule 5 eligible? Basically, it's anyone drafted out of high school in 2008 or earlier and anyone drafted out of college in 2009 or earlier. Here's a partial list of the more prominent names...

RULE 5 ELIGIBLE PLAYERS
1B Justin Bloxom
RHP Paul Demny
OF Destin Hood
RHP Nathan Karns
2B Jeff Kobernus
OF Erik Komatsu
RHP Jeff Mandel
RHP Brad Meyers
LHP Danny Rosenbaum
RHP Rob Wort

Here are the pertinent questions: 1 )Which of those players would have a chance sticking in the big leagues for a full season with another organization? 2) From that group, which players are worth protecting?

Only a handful of the names appear like strong Rule 5 candidates: Rosenbaum, Karns and Kobernus. Rosenbaum, 25, has put together a nice minor-league career, pitched well last season at Class AA Harrisburg and could possibly hold down the fifth rotation spot or a long relief role on a big-league club in 2013. Karns, 24, hasn't pitched above Class A but was dominant last season and earned organizational pitcher of the year honors. And Kobernus, 24, has got blazing speed and a little bit of pop for a second baseman (though he battled injuries this season at Harrisburg).

The rest are either too raw to stick in the big leagues (Hood) or unlikely to make a major impact (Meyers, Mandel) so the Nationals can probably afford to leave them unprotected.

The educated guess here: The Nationals will add Rosenbaum and Karns to their 40-man roster before the end of the night but take their chances and leave Kobernus unprotected.

58 comments:

Todd Boss said...

Another name to consider may be Patrick McCoy, who was rule-5 eligible last year but had a pretty good 2012. I mentioned him in my own Rule 5 analysis, thinking that in this rising-priced market for Loogys, perhaps someone could take a flier on him. More to the point, would the Nats give him a shot at their bullpen in 2013 versus committing $20M to Sean Burnett?

Unknown said...

Why protect Henri Rodriguez? That's wasting a slot big time. Same goes for Maya.

Doc said...

Seems that some other team migh take a chance with Rob Worrt--the guy is a K machine!

baseballswami said...

I had previously read some things indicating that the Nats might have to release Lannan or Flores to make room. This makes it sound like we don't really need the space right now. I would hate to see HRod figure it out on another team, but Maya is probably not worth a spot right now. Thanks for the clear explanation.

Tcostant said...

Unknown to remove a player from the 40 man roster they could be claimed by any team and that team would just need to pick up there contract. Great point on Maya, but HRod is worth keeping around for no other reason that he likely has some trade value.

NatsLady said...

I got a new, tiny kitty and named her April for Opening Day. Hopefully by that time she will understand sabermetrics. :)

Don said...

I am betting Maya gets left off. We'll see.

JaneB said...

NatsLady, feed her treats as you teach her a new factoid, and it'll take!

DCTom said...

With four open slots, you don't need to decide about Maya or Henry right now. You can add Rosenbaum and Karns tonight to get to 38, and then if you make some acquisitions that push you over 40, you can outright Maya then.

Would not surprise me at all to see the team take a flier on a reliever in the Rule 5 draft. Very unlikely that the player would make the team, but you never know. We cannot count on Henry, Mike Gonzalez and Burnett may be gone, so there could be a open competition for the last bullpen slot.

NatsJack in Florida said...

They are not outrighting Maya......

Get Some Players said...

Troll alert.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I agree that they are not releasing Maya either. He is a decent minor league, backup option in case of an injury.

baseballswami said...

I know it's not Nats related, but why did Toronto hire a manager that had fist fights with players during games? Seems like their clubhouse is going to be a little weird to begin with. Could be volatile.

natsfan1a said...

That's sweet. Maybe she'll have rally kitty potential (RKP) as well. :-)

NatsLady said...

I got a new, tiny kitty and named her April for Opening Day. Hopefully by that time she will understand sabermetrics. :)
November 20, 2012 3:19 PM

JaneB said...

NatsLady, feed her treats as you teach her a new factoid, and it'll take!
November 20, 2012 3:38 PM

blovy8 said...

They've spent some time stretching out Perry, but I wouldn't waste a spot on him if you needed the room, he seems like a longer project than they really have time to complete.

blovy8 said...

In other words, I'd rather be sure of having Hood than Perry.

blovy8 said...

Man, the Angels have to feel a bit dumb about not picking up Haren's option, if 8.25 is the going rate for a mediocrity like Guthrie.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I've seen Hood for 4 straight years of Fall Instructs and that's a record. I doubt anybody else will waste a 25 man spot for his underperforming talent.

blovy8 said...

Maybe so, but Perry isn't worth a spot either.

MicheleS said...

I need actual games. Or you know, some ACTUAL information from the FO on what the heck is going on! It seems like it sooo dead with only the Jays/Marlins kerfuffle, it's really slow.

Section 222 said...

There doesn't seem to be much danger that a team will take Hood in the Rule 5 draft. Rule 5 was designed to keep teams from hiding MLB ready prospects in the minors for years and years because the team already has someone in the bigs. It's how Roberto Clemente ended up with the Pirates after playing in the Brooklyn Dodgers farm system. Other stars who were once Rule 5 draftees include Jose Bautista, Jayson Werth, Johan Santana, Josh Hamilton, Dan Uggla, and Shane Victorino. That's why the team that selects the player has to put him on the 25 man for the season. No one is going to take up a roster spot with Destin Hood.

Section 222 said...

Put it on my tab NJ. :-)

NatsLady said...

i feel bad for Destin Hood if he was lured away from football and then never makes it to the majors. (Not saying he should make it.) Does it strike you that for a kid whose main asset is raw athletic talent that baseball is harder than football?

Faraz Shaikh said...

Nice article on Gio over at FG: http://bit.ly/RRRQoT

NatsLady said...

swami, Gibbons claims he regrets it, and has learned better. He gets along very well with the GM and had a .500 record with the team, plus a couple of winning seasons, and a lot of the players liked him. The feeling was that Farell had too light a hand, and the players got away with a lot of sloppy play. Gibbons is supposed to run a tight ship. Reviews of the decision seem to vary a lot.

NatsLady said...

FS thanks for the link. I put up comments.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Just got off a plane for Thanksgiving. Looks like Mark got up the Rule 5s. Always a curious time of year on these moves.

BigCat said...

I've seen Hood on more than one occasion in Potomac. Gotta get stronger

BigCat said...

As always, my vote with HRod is to keep him. I know almost everyone on this blog is an HRod hater, so I will duck back into my hole before the shrapnel starts flying.

UnkyD said...

Got yer back (on HRod), BigCat...

NatsLady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NatsLady said...

Standing with the HRod voters.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

What am I missing? HenRod won't be DFA'd now. They will see how he looks in Spring Training and go from there. Tough competition.

Best 25 go North.

UnkyD said...

Gulp, BANG!!!

Water23 said...

NJinFL,

Why not move on from Maya? He is a high salary, high risk, low reward OLD minor leaguer. Maybe it is time to let some one else take him instead of paying him to be around. You could use his $2 Million + Lannan's $5+ million to offset the almost half the cost of ALR 3rd year.

Just a thought

NatsLady said...

But isn't Maya signed through 2013? You could release him ala Jason Bay but you would still have to pay him.

Water23 said...

BigCat,

Not an HRod hater but maybe the Nats have outgrown him. His lack of control and its resulting errors (passed balls & wild pitches) may not be worth keeping in the majors. If he could spend the whole year in the Minors and work, work, work on his control then great but keeping in the majors and letting him work out his issues where it counts is probably not best for the a team vying for a championship.

And he is not work himself back into form a la Storen as he has not been consistently dominant for a season.

Again, I love his potential but maybe he is not a good fit.

Water23 said...

NL, True Enough but if the Astros, Mariners, Marlins or other pick him up then they take on his contract.

If no one picks him up then the Nats are no worse off and then can decide what to do with him.

sjm308 said...

Big Cat: put me on your team!
Nothing sweeter then watching HRod thrown a 100+ fastball followed by that 86 mph slider or whatever it is - I am really hoping the operation makes a huge difference because with him, we are even better.

sjm308 said...

I also keep Maya, just for the fact that it's his last year of this contract and it does not hurt to have AAA depth. I have no delusions of him helping us win our 2nd NL East title but I see no reason to let him go.

NatsLady said...

Well, Rizzo is sure waiting until the last minute if he's making any changes...

Gonat said...

I think Davey was clear that Oh Henry is part of his team. Lets hope this dominant Henry steps forward in consistent fashion in Spring Training. I have faith in Davey and Rizzo to put the best team together.

peric said...

I think Davey was clear that Oh Henry is part of his team. Lets hope this dominant Henry steps forward in consistent fashion in Spring Training.

Either way Davey has to be very, very unhappy with the prospects of a very weak bullpen left-handed wise. If his clear disgust with the Dodgers lack is any indication.

I look for the Nats to make a pick up of a left-handed reliever in rule 5 if one is available and has talent.

Lannan is another guy that will likely get moved one way or the other, leaving Gorzelanny and perhaps Duke if they bring him back.

pdowdy83 said...

I saw Maya in a spot start in 2011 after Marquis was traded (I know, things sure have gotten better). I was not excited to see him pitch but he came out and pitched 6 innings of "acceptable" baseball. In the role of AAA rotation mainstay with the option to start one half of a double header or a spot start without having to make a corresponding 40 man roster move for a similar guy I believe Maya actually does have value for the Nats. There is no reason for them to cut ties with him right now.

HRod is worth keeping through Spring Training at least. He is a flamethrower and he is still pretty darn young. He is only 25 and you never know when the light bulb is going to go off. If he stinks up the joint in ST then you cut him loose.

peric said...

Either would make a nice addition to the lineup, particularly the leadoff-hitting Bourn.

Its not going to happen Mark. Davey hates one dimensional slap hitters. See Perez, Eury. He wants another power presence in the lineup batting left not a slap hitting CF.

Sheesh methinks Mark spent too much time with smart ball, small brain Riggleman.

peric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peric said...

And you never know maybe Maya learns a new pitch ... like the knuckler.

Gonat said...

peric said...
Either way Davey has to be very, very unhappy with the prospects of a very weak bullpen left-handed wise. If his clear disgust with the Dodgers lack is any indication.


November 20, 2012 8:52 PM
_______________________________

Davey managed 13 years ago for the Dodgers and you think his displeasure was all because of his lefty relievers?

You just never stop with that statement which has nothing to do with anything. The real issue is in the NL East you should probably have 2 lefty shutdown relievers. The mistakes of Slaten and others before him show how important it is to have leftys who can dominate lefty batters.

blovy8 said...

Hard to see a team paying 50K for Maya, but he's under contract anyway. Any club will be able to get a similar pitcher on a minor league deal without having to do any roster shuffling. I didn't realize how crappy Hood was at AA, but he's only 22, but yeah, no one would keep him on a major league roster at this point. But mid 20s pitchers who throw hard guys without good command aren't in short supply either. Hell, I'd rather have Bally back.

blovy8 said...

Friggin laptop - sorry about that mess. It'll be interesting to see if anyone useful is left off someone's 40-man, but I'm too lazy to hunt up a decent article. Best case would probably be taking a flier on someone's could be loogy who has been miscast as a normal starter.

pdowdy83 said...

I think the assumption that the Nats "need" multiple lefty relievers is superficial and lacks any research in to the pitchers we have.

Clippard holds lefties to a .186/.268/.325 in his career. That is better than his line against right handed batters. It also isn't a small sample size at this point in his career with over 650 left-handed batters faced.

Stammen, albeit a small sample, this season held lefties to a .198/.274/.331 line.

In comparison Sean Burnett has a career line against lefties of .225/.291/.337.

There is no reason to over pay for Burnett when a guy like Randy Choate would be just as effective in match up settings for a fraction of the cost.

Gonat said...

Karns and Erik Davis appear to be the only 2 Nats added to the 40 man.

UnkyD said...

Thanks, Gonat! Source?

Gonat said...

UnkyD, I was just going through the Nats beat writers twitter feeds.

UnkyD said...

Won't somebody snap Rosenbaum up?!

sjm308 said...

once again PDowdy with facts over fiction!!

go ahead Peric, start your spewing.

I like Burnett but don't think Davey will be at a loss if he can thrown a solid HRod, Matheus, or Stammen in the 7th, Clip in the 8th and Storen in the 9th. He still has Gorzo to go long in games and maybe Gonzalez as our last bullpen guy. I also see Zimmermann going longer this next year which will help as well.

pdowdy83 said...

Unkyd, its possible the Rosenbaum gets snapped up but he really struggled in the 2nd half and I believe he dealt with some sort of injury.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Doesn't everybody just love the "peric Comedy Show", appearing nightly in this and other blogs?

Keeps me in stitches.

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