Major League Rule 5 Draft Postponed, Minor League Phase Will Still Take Place

Editor’s Note: The Rule 5 draft has been postponed indefinitely, not necessarily cancelled. Baseball America has updated its story. Baseball America apologizes for the error.

The major league portion of the Rule 5 draft will not take place this year as a result of the lockout, Baseball America confirmed Wednesday night. It is the first time since 1920 that there will be no major league portion of the Rule 5 draft.

The major league phase has been postponed indefinitely. The Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft will still take place as scheduled.

The major league phase of the Rule 5 draft had taken place uninterrupted every year since 1920, including during previous work stoppages. During the 1994 player strike, the Rule 5 draft had to be rescheduled twice but was still held on Dec. 5, with 24 of the then-28 teams making selections during the major league phase.

This year’s Rule 5 draft was originally scheduled for Dec. 9 at the Winter Meetings in Orlando. The major league portion of the Winter Meetings was canceled shortly after MLB announced it had instituted a lockout, but the minor league portion will continue to take place.

The postponement of the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft comes on the heels of arguably the best Rule 5 draft class in recent history. Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo, Red Sox reliever Garrett Whitlock and Orioles reliever Tyler Wells were all among the players selected during last year’s Rule 5 draft.

The minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft involves teams being able to draft players from Double-A and put them on their Triple-A rosters. Notable recent minor league Rule 5 picks include Rays reliever Ryan Thompson (2018), White Sox designated hitter Yermin Mercedes (2017), Giants reliever John Brebbia (2015) and former Marlins first baseman Justin Bour (2013).


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