The Atlanta Braves just made the following announcement (via Twitter):
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 20, 2013
By my count, this fills out the roster at exactly 40 names.
Everyone on the 40-man list is protected from the Rule 5 Draft, which is conducted the last day of Baseball’s Winter Meetings. Those meetings will be held December 9-12 at Disney World in Orlando. Wednesday marked the deadline in which roster changes could be made to protect long-time minor leaguers from being exposed to that draft, which was designed to allow ‘blocked’ players a chance at the majors.
Players are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft when:
- They are not on the 40-man list (but we’ve already covered that); plus…
- were 18 or younger on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is the fifth Rule 5 draft upcoming; or
- were 19 or older on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is fourth Rule 5 draft upcoming.
SS Elmer Reyes is getting a bit of a reward here after his reasonably successful Arizona Fall League campaign, hitting .256 in 13 games. He hit .285 (OPS .728) and was second on the club with 30 doubles at Lynchburg this year (High-A Carolina League). Reyes made 17 errors at short this year – reasonably good for that level. I had previously speculated that a couple of his teammates at Lynchburg, Emerson Landoni and Robby Hefflinger, might get the 40-man blessing, but Reyes got that nod instead. He also turns 23 years old next week – happy birthday!
Carlos Perez (ours – there are several players of this name to choose from in recent baseball history!) has been with the organization since 2009, and also was with Lynchburg in 2013, posting a 3.95 ERA in just 13.2 innings, striking out nearly 10 per 9 innings, but with some control issues. This is weird, but I gotta give a birthday shout-out to him as well: today is his 22nd birthday!
– Trying to get some further information to determine which Luis Vasquez is being referenced in this announcement. It’s actually not entirely clear, and I frankly couldn’t find him on any years’-end minor league roster.
Ah – here we go! Full credit to Mark Bowman for this: note that this didn’t even hit the transaction wire!
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) November 20, 2013
So… he’s a 27-year-old reliever and seemed to pitch rather well in AA and AAA for the Dodgers in 2013 (almost 36 innings spread over 25 games; combined ERA in the low 2’s with a bunch of strikeouts). But his birthday is in April!
Atlanta doesn’t necessarily need to have additional space on the roster for that draft, as they almost never find anyone worth drafting. That word “worth” carries some weight to it, as players taken must spend the next year on their new club’s Major League (i.e., 25 man) roster or be offered back to their original club. The costs are minimal in doing so, but the need to use that precious roster spot is a fairly steep cost by itself.
The last player that Atlanta took was Robert Fish, selected from the Angels after the 2011 season. He’s never actually made the majors, but he’s still in a Brave uniform since he was hurt all of 2012. He nonetheless pitched well for Lynchburg in 20 innings this year.
There are a couple of minor league players that I believe Atlanta could lose to the Rule 5 draft, but again, this depends on the acquiring team’s willingness to place such a play onto their major league roster. Reliever Gary Moran comes to mind, though he is already 28 years old and has not yet pitched above the AA level. He nonetheless posted a 3.31 ERA over 49 innings in 2013. Atlanta often loses players to other teams in this manner, though not many of overall consequence.
There is a player on the Braves’ roster that was the product of a Rule 5 draft, though: Dan Uggla.