While most people out there are drooling at those exciting free agent possibilities, yawn, I have been worried for some time now about who we may lose in the rule 5 draft at the expense of picking up a stud infielder like Clint Barmes to play Shortstop for a month prior to losing his job to Chase d'Arnaud or Pedro Ciriaco. So after patiently awaiting an article on the subject from pirates prospects for 2 months, I decided enough was enough and figured I'd take a stab at it.
To start, let's use the Pirates Prospects current projected 40-man roster and work from there. They are projecting five open spots (for protecting rule 5 elgibles) with 3 fringe non tender candidates. I agree with the concept that the additional 3 at the bottom will not be with the team, or 3 similar guys will not make it. Additionally, they currently have Garret Jones being tendered and no Derrek Lee or other 1B, so let's call it 8 with 1 reliever 1 starter and 1 catcher being dropped from the current 40 man. That leaves 8 spots to protect or to sign free agents or draft a rule 5 guy or to grab a random stiff off of waivers.
Next, I generated a list of rule 5 eligibles using these two previous postings:
Tim Alderson, Calvin Anderson, Ramon Cabrera, Fraylin Campos, Michael Colla, Tyler Cox, Emmanuel De Leon, Jeremy Farrell, Zachary Foster, Matt Hague, Andrew Lambo, Quincy Latimore, Brian Leach, Brett Lorin, Starling Marte, Jordy Mercer, Diego Moreno, Rogelio Noris, Rudy Owens, Aaron Pribanic, Jhonatan Ramos, David Rubinstein, Hunter Strickland, Cole White, Justin Wilson, Eric Avila, Brian Bocock, Jesus Brito, Brad Chalk, Michael Crotta, Michael Dubee, Miles Durham, Brian Friday, Noah Krol, Mike Loree, Jairo Marquez, Matt McSwain, Miguel Mendez, Eliecer Navarro, Anthony Norman, Josh Rodriguez, Yunesky Sanchez, Brett Sinkbeil, Wyatt Toregas, Andy Vasquez, Kris Watts, Duke Welker
Then I ranked the top 8 in order of preference:
Starling Marte, Rudy Owens, Andrew Lambo, Justin Wilson, Jordy Mercer, Matt Hague, Aaron Pribanic, Brian Leach.
That leaves us with a ton of talent unprotected in the rule 5 draft. Here's hoping we don't bring in some stiff, and that we use a mix of these rule 5 guys to pick up some talent in a trade. I would prefer that route over signing Cliff Barmes, aka trading a prospect for a journeyman.