On the last day of the Winter Meetings things shift a little bit to the Rule 5 draft. Okay, not everything shifts to that, but it will be the focus in this here blog post.
A quick rule 5 primer is that teams can’t bury players in the minors forever. Eventually they have to add them to the 40 man roster or risk losing them to other teams. The time limit for this varies based on the player’s age when they signed. Teams with open space on their 40 man roster can select from this pool of players, but the catch is said player has to stay on the 25 man roster all season, or the player has to be offered back to the original team.
The Tigers have two spots open on their roster at the moment. Sort of. Adam Everett should be the 39th guy, but he hasn’t formally been added to the roster. I’ll speculate the delay is to keep a second spot open for today’s draft? I really don’t know.
Now the Tigers have some players who they are at risk of losing. Leading that list is James Skelton. Skelton has huge OBP skills, but with little power and there is a theme he’s too small to play catcher. (evidence of too small is nebulous at best) I still find it curious that Skelton was unprotected, especially by a team that currently has Dane Sardinha as the back-up. Skelton while not ready by any means, would most likely outperform Sardinha.
Other Tigers who may be snatched up are second baseman Wil Rhymes and pitcher Jay Sborz, although the lobby buzz isn’t high on any Tigers being selected. The Tigers could target Eduardo Morlan, a reliever was traded to the Rays as part of the Garza/Young deal. Rick Knapp certainly has familiarity.
You can watch the draft on MLB.tv if you’re a subscriber.
John Smoltz is still out there. But I don’t know if the interest has dropped since the Jackson trade.
Other than that things are quiet on the Tigers front at the moment. Matt Treanor, who the Tigers were reported to have mild interest in was released and the Tigers need a back-up catcher.
Also, I took part in the TigsTown weekly roundtable this week. (Tomorrow I’ll have a guest piece on their site). I’d like to thank TigsTown for the opportunity to contribute this week and invite you to check it out.