The Detroit Tigers have some decisions to make in advance of tonight’s deadline to set their 40-man roster before December’s Rule 5 Draft.
The Detroit Tigers currently have 39 players on their 40-man roster. By the end of the day, whichever players are on that roster will be protected from the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place on December 13 after the Winter Meetings.
As a reminder, any player who was under 18 when they were signed is eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft if they have been in the system for five seasons. If they were over 19, they are eligible after four years.
The Tigers have quite a few players who are organizational favorites who are currently eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft – if they don’t add them to the roster before tonight. With the roster already at 39, and the team likely wanting to keep a spot open for a draft pick, they have some decisions to make.
The team currently has three prospects ranked in their top 30 who are eligible to be selected and who aren’t protected: outfielder Jose Azocar, left-hander Tyler Alexander and outfielder and former first round pick Derek Hill. Additionally, outfielder Cam Gibson and right-handed reliever Paul Voelker each seem like options to potentially be selected as well.
So what should the Tigers do? Well, they have a few options. They could choose to trade players currently on the 40-man roster for prospects who don’t need protecting, which would clear up some space. They could also waive, non-tender or release players who are on the 40-man. Or, they could stick with what they have and hope that they don’t lose anyone this year.