With the MLB offseason finally here, the Minnesota Twins are starting to work through a few orders of business.
The future of players like Sonny Gray, Kenta Maeda, and Jorge Polanco are all up in the air as hot stove season begins to heat up, but the decisions Minnesota needs to make run deeper than the obvious moves that must be addressed.
When the Winter Meetings take place next month, so too will the Rule 5 Draft. Teams will need to protect certain prospects before then in order to avoid losing them to another team that might select their contract.
For the Twins, a handful of top prospects in the farm system are eligible to be selected, and moves are already being made to protect them.
Twins add two prospects to 40-man roster ahead of Rule 5 Draft
On Monday, the Twins started filling some of that 40-man roster space the team cleared by adding catcher Jair Carmage and infielder Yunior Severino. In doing so, the team protects both prospects from being selected by another team during this year's Rule 5 Draft next month.
MLB rules state that "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".
Minnesota still has a few players left in that category that it might want to protect before the deadline to do so arrives. Austin Martin is either going to be on the Opening Day roster or flipped as a trade chip this winter, and pitcher Emmanuel Rodriguez is expected to be protected as well.
When is Rule 5 Draft deadline?
Any Rule 5 eligible prospect that isn't added to a team's 40-man roster before November 14th will be available for other teams to select when the draft takes place later this year. So there's still time for teams like the Twins to make a decision, but all loose ends need to be tied up before that deadline arrives.
The Rule 5 Draft will take place next month when all MLB teams meet at the Winter Meeting's which start on Dec. 4th.