I got all excited last year and went to the Rule 5 draft. Within three minutes of it starting I realized that it really wasn’t worth it. If you’re a total prospect nut it has a lot of intrigue I suppose, but for most of us it’s only meaningful a couple of years from now if and when anyone in it actually turns into a useful major leaguer.
And it doesn’t happen much. The reason some of us are so able to list of Johan Santana, Josh Hamilton and Dan Uggla as Rule 5 successes is really a function of just how rare such successes there are. The same names have stuck out on that list for a long time now.
All of that said, if you are interested in the Rule 5, a good place to start reading would be John Manuel’s two-part draft preview at Baseball America.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.