Tigers Rule 5 Primer

Scout.com has a Rule 5 Draft Preview. This is particularly helpful for those of us who can’t keep tabs on all other teams minor leagues.

In case you’re not familiar with the Rule 5 Draft, players who are typically 3 or 4 years removed from their signing(although due to the CBA it’s 4 years this year) either need to be protected on the 40 man roster or they’re left exposed for other teams to draft them. As compensation, teams that lose a player are compensated $50,000. In other words it’s a cheap way to add talent. The catch is that the player must remain on the 25 man roster of the drafting team the entire season, or they need to be returned to the original club. (Here’s a more complete breakdown of the Rule 5 draft.)

The Tigers have one spot open on their 40 man roster meaning they could participate. The most likely need they’d target is a replacement for Jamie Walker. There are 2 interesting names who the Tigers could pursue.

1. Charlie Manning-27

Manning is a left-handed reliever who has posted a career mark of 45-29 and has averaged over eight strikeouts per nine innings in his six-year career. He doesn’t throw particularly hard, sitting around 86 MPH with his fastball, but he has a very good cutter and the development of his slider has made him a devastating opponent for left-handed batters. He held Double-A lefties to a .163 and his strikeout ratio against them was over 11 batters per nine innings this past season. Manning could be well worth the small financial risk in the Rule 5 Draft and find a home as a left-handed specialist on a big league roster next season.

2. Dan Smith -23

Smith was a non-drafted free agent signed the summer of 2003 after he missed his senior season in high school with an injury. The lefty was extremely successful as a reliever in the minor leagues, but the Braves moved him into the Double-A rotation in Mississippi late last summer to allow him to work on his pitches. Smith’s performance over eight starts was scary: 2.27 ERA, 24 hits in 39.2 innings pitched, 16 walks, and 53 strikeouts. The Braves still believe he can be a big league reliever, but the work as a starter may get him another chance in that role. He’s a kid that some scouts may feel is worth sticking in a big league bullpen.

Of course if the Tigers were going to try and fill Walker’s spot they could have just protected one of their own in Cory Hamman. The Scout article lists Ryan Raburn as another possibility to get drafted while Baseball America says Sendy Vasquez could get snagged(premium content).


  1. Dave

    December 4, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    Smith must have live arm with 99 k’s in 68 IP’s at High A and AA last year. He is 6’5″, 250 lbs, but troubling stat is that ERA vs lefties is 4.82, righties 2.38. Doesn’t sound like answer to situational lefty problem.

  2. Mark

    December 5, 2006 at 12:38 am

    Where exactly is Jamie Walker going?

  3. Andy in WB

    December 5, 2006 at 1:30 am

    Why does everyone think the tigers really need another lefty in the pen? Ledezma can fill the role of situation relief/starter & long relief. Moroth/Miller will be the #5 starter with the other going to the pen.

    Jamie Walker isn’t worth the money he got, Ledezma is cheaper and will move into JW’s spot easy, and will thrive….too bad we’ll lose him later under the same circumstances.

  4. Andy in WB

    December 5, 2006 at 1:34 am


    Walker signed a deal with Baltimore for 3.5mill/yr…….

    That much for a guy that pitched 59 innings…..

  5. billfer

    December 5, 2006 at 8:33 am

    Ledezma can fill the lefty specialist role, and he can do so cheaply for 3 more years because he isn’t a free agent yet. But I think Ledezma’s upside is much more than that of a LOOGY. As for Miller/Maroth – Miller will be starting in the minors. He was drafted to be a starter and he needs to be developed as such. His stint in the bigs last year was part of an agreement when he signed.

    As for justifying Walker’s salary – he’s good at what he does and he’s a free agent. I don’t think he’s overpaid, and if the Tigers didn’t have Zumaya and Rodney who are both very effective against lefties, the Tigers probably would have resigned him. As a pitcher for the Tigers though, he wasn’t going to see enough high leverage innings to justify that money.

  6. Jeff M

    December 5, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    But I think Ledezma’s upside is much more than that of a LOOGY.

    He’ll probably get another shot, but he’s running out of chances. There’s only so much you can do when a guy consistently struggles after a major league lineup sees him a couple times.

  7. TC Chris

    December 5, 2006 at 1:34 pm

    Hey – what do you think should be done with Andrew Miller next season? I read articles where he’s suggested as the #5 starter or a valuable part of the pen coming out of spring training.

    Would anybody else feel better about him if he had the chance to start in AA and dominate until the all-star break before being called up? I’d like him to get some pro innings before he’s on the big league staff.

    That – and I might get a chance to catch a couple of Eastern League games next year.

  8. Greg

    December 5, 2006 at 2:11 pm

    I don’t see who Miller would replace. We already have the Gambler, Verlander, Bondo, Robertson, and Maroth. And I haven’t mentioned Zach Miner. It’s a nice problem to have, but I hope Miller at least starts in double A.

  9. Kyle J

    December 5, 2006 at 4:36 pm

    Sounds like they may be shopping Monroe for a left-handed reliever. I’d hope they’d get something else out of such a deal.


    As much as I love Monroe for all his big hits down the stretch this year, it does make sense to move him and let Thames play LF.

  10. Joey C.

    December 5, 2006 at 6:56 pm

    I really really hope the Tigers don’t move Craig for a lefty reliever. I think he’s far more valuable then that. I don’t think you can discount what a terrific fielder he’s turned into. No numbers here to back me up–maybe something billfer can post later–but I think his value as a fielder trumps Thames when it comes to starting in LF.

    And speaking of Monroe at the winter meetings, here’s what ESPN is reporting…

    2:45 p.m., from Amy Nelson

    • The Orioles inquired about Tigers outfielder Craig Monroe, but they were told that he’s not available. The Tigers, in search of a left-handed bat, asked for Nick Markakis but were told he’s not available, according to a baseball source.

    This makes zero sense to me. Why would we say Monroe isn’t available and then ask about another outfielder? This report makes it sound like we wanted to trade someone other than Monroe to pick up yet another OF. That can’t be true.

    Maybe Nelson saying that Monroe would only be available if the O’s gave us Markakis. And since Markakis isn’t available, neither is Monroe.

    I’m wondering if both the O’s and Tiger’s were worried about their respective players hearing about being on the block, and used this as a means to put the rumors to rest.

  11. Eric Jackson

    December 5, 2006 at 7:48 pm

    Maybe Monroe isn’t up for grabs, but were hoping the O’s still wanted some pitching which we could give up for Nick Markakis, giving us a Lefty bat.

  12. Steve G.

    December 5, 2006 at 8:33 pm

    Miller should follow the same path that Verlander did. Start the year at Lakeland, when the weather warms up move him to Erie, if he dominates the way the Verlander did move him to Toledo. If he handles it as well as Verlander did the Tigers would have a heck of a rotation in ’08.

  13. Joey C.

    December 5, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    I definitely understand the impulse to land a lefty bat, but if we get another OF, where does he play?

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