At the Winter Meetings following the World Series, major league teams must decide on the 40 players they want to protect in a special draft that is commonly referred to as the Rule Five Draft.

The rule is basically a good idea as it prevents teamsimages (25) from stockpiling players in their farm systems and it gives hope to minor league players who may be languishing behind a all star major leaguer playing the same position. Depending on age when they signed, players become eligible after three or four years

Historically, players such as Roberto Clemente (above) who as we know turned into the steal of the Century for the Pirates, R A Dickey (left),download (9) Dan Uggla, and Jose Bautista (below) revitalized their careers after being taken in this draft. Last year, the Rangers caught lightning in a bottle when they selected images (26)Delino Deshields who became the Texas Rookie Of The Year. For major league teams, the price of a selection is a mere $50,000…….but there’s a catch……

Once the Rangers took him, Delino Deshields (left) KEL_5497pS_y3s8aint_2jt3crmjhad to remain on their 25 man roster for the entire 2015 season. Even if he was injured, those games would have to be “made up” in 2016. Fortunately for the Rangers, they will welcome him back with open arms and he’s virtually a lock to make the team again when camp breaks in the Spring. 

But you see the risk and the pitfalls here. And perhaps that’s the reason why only 37 players have been selected over the years in this draft. If MLB really wants to level the playing field and give these players a decent and well earned chance to start anew with another team, then the rule needs to be relaxed. Maybe they could cut the time on the 25 man roster in half and stipulate that if the player is sent down, he must go to their Triple-A team and if he declines this option, he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.

Like I said in the beginning, it’s a good rule but…………


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