The Detroit Tigers have to add several prospects to the 40-man roster or risk losing them to the Rule 5 Draft
The Detroit Tigers have a busy offseason ahead of them, and numerous 40-man roster transactions are first on the to-do list. We recently ran a guide to all the players coming off the 60-day IL, so now it’s time to do one going over the players we believe should be protected from next month’s Rule 5 Draft.
After a certain amount of time in the minor leagues, a player becomes Rule 5 eligible. This means they have to be added to the 40-man roster, or they could selected by another team in the Rule 5 Draft, which typically takes places every December, right after the Winter Meetings.
There are two Rule 5 Drafts—one for the major leagues and one for the minors. Players drafted in the major league Rule 5 Draft must be on that team’s active roster for the entire season, or they will be sent back to their original team. An example of that happeneing is when Will Vest was selected by the Mariners in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, but was eventually shipped back to the Detroit Tigers. That worked out well for Detroit, since Vest had a solid year out of the bullpen in 2022.
Players the Detroit Tigers have selected in the Rule 5 Draft in past years include Victor Reyes (2017), Rony Garcia (2019), and Akil Baddoo (2020). Not every team uses its rRule-5 selection since you’re essentially giving away a roster spot to a career minor leaguer. Teams have to get creative if they want to protect a lot of players from Rule 5 Draft since they would take up a spot on the 40-man roster.
If you’re looking for an in-depth breakdown of the entire Detroit Tigers depth chart, Fangraphs has an excellent one. In fact, that’s what this piece will be based off.
Phew. That was a lot of intro and explanation, but I hope it was helpful. The Tigers have a lot of interesting prospects that are Rule 5 eligible this year. This piece will be in a similar format as the 60-day IL piece—we’ll name the player we’re protecting, then name the player we’re designating for assigment. So with that all out of the way, let’s get started.