Baseball’s Rule 5 draft is still three weeks away, but with the Blue Jays having added 5 players to take them up to a full 40-man roster, will there be anyone eligible for the draft the team might consider?
On the surface, with a full roster, that seems unlikely. However, with Yangervis Solarte likely to be non-tendered, there is a small window of possibility.
The last time the team successfully dipped into the Rule 5, they came away with a strong year’s worth of bullpen performance by converting Joe Biagini to relief. A similar conversion with Glenn Sparkman, taken from the Royals, a year later was not as successful.
In the case of Biagini, the team was looking more for a piece of a contending puzzle. Circumstances have changed since then, with the team likely not ready to contend until 2021 at the earliest. At this point in their rebuilding process, it might make sense to take a gamble on a Rule 5 player and leave him on the 25-man for a season, and see where things go after that. The Blue Jays are high on athletic, up-the-middle players, although you could make an argument that they are quite well-stocked throughout the system with that commodity.
Baseball America, in their first look ahead to next month’s draft, has identified 5 players who might be worth a Rule 5 roll of the dice (interestingly, there are no Blue Jays on that list). Astros RHP Riley Farrell might be a player the Blue Jays would consider, although after adding 5 pitchers, they might be looking at other positions.
There’s every possibility, of course, that the Blue Jays are happy with most of their current 40-man, and may sit out the draft. If they make no further roster moves other than letting Solarte go, that may be the case.