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November 22, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Correction: Rule 5 Eligible Players

Over the past week, we reported on players who we had believed would be eligible for the 2009 Rule 5 Draft, which is scheduled to take place on December 10. It turns out that we were incorrect on five of the players who will be eligible for this year's Rule 5 Draft, most notably Yamaico Navarro. According to a newly-discovered amendment to Rule 5, Navarro will not be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft until next year. My apologies for the confusion.

Here is the reasoning for my error. The names of players who will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft are not publicly available. In fact, the text of Rule 5 itself is not publicly available, and until this week I only had a copy of the Rule as it existed in 2005. I determined Rule 5 eligibility of every player in the system using my interpretation of the complicated language of Rule 5, and our knowledge of the signing date and contract status of each player in the system (which is also not always publicly available). Because of this lack of public information, it is sometimes difficult to
precisely determine the exact Rule 5 status of every player in the system.

As you might remember, Rule 5 was recently amended to add another year of protection to every minor league player. At that time, Rule 5 was also amended to start the Rule 5 "clock" running from the year the player signed his first professional contract instead of the first effective year of that contract.
I was told at the time that the "year" clock started running at the Rule 5 Draft itself in early December, and I updated our Rule 5 calculations accordingly (I did not have a copy of newly-amended Rule 5 at the time).

I just received an actual copy of amended Rule 5
. It turns out that the "year" clock actually starts to run at the end of the minor league regular season, rather than the Rule 5 Draft itself. As such, that means players who signed their original professional contracts between season end and early December actually have one more year of Rule 5 protection than we previously thought. This affects the following five players who we originally believed would be eligible for next month's draft: Ronald Bermudez, Mitch Dening, Yamaico Navarro, Chih-Hsien Chiang, and Yeiper Castillo. My apologies for the confusion.

For those interested, here is the text of Rule 5(c), which outlines eligibility for the Rule 5 Draft.