The Bull League has implemented a “Rule 5” annual player draft the first of which will be scheduled for December 2, 2016, according to an announcement made earlier today.
The Rule 5 Draft is seen as a strategy to prevent teams from stockpiling young players, many of whom may wait years to have their chance at the big leagues, when other teams would be willing to place those players on their rosters to give them major playing time.
The draft differs from the June “amateur draft”, or first year player draft, in that the eligible players are already on minor league contracts. To be eligible, a player who was signed at age 18 (at the time they were drafted in the June draft) must have five years of pro playing time, or a player who was age 19 or older with at least four years of pro playing time, AND they are not currently on a 40-man roster for any club.
A player who is chosen by a team out of the Rule 5 draft must be placed on the 25-man roster, and cash compensation paid to the team losing the player. The player must then remain on the 25-man roster for the entirety of the following season. If the team does not keep them on the roster, the player is returned to their original club and a partial rebate is paid back to the team that drafted them.
Should the team the player was originally drafted from decline to take the player back, the player may be placed on waivers.
Teams making Rule 5 Draft selections must have room on their 40-man roster in order to make a draft selection. The drafted player is placed on the drafting team’s 40-man roster immediately, but as stated earlier, must spend the next regular season on the 25-man roster. Alternatively, the player can be traded to another club who then assumes responsibility for keeping the player on their 25-man roster, or returning him to the club he was drafted from.
For any questions about the Rule 5 Draft, contact the Commissioner on Slack or via email.