Dodgers protect five players from Rule 5 Draft

Edwin Rios (Via)

Today was the deadline for Rule 5 protections. The Dodgers had 20 prospects that would be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if not added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster by 5:00 PM today.

Dustin predicted five protected players, and went 4-for-5 in his picks. Not bad.

The Keibert Ruiz protection was the first to come out this morning.

This appears to be an agent from Octagon, the agency that presumably represents Ruiz. He spoiled that surprise, but it was a near lock from the get-go. He likely isn’t ready to start in the majors, but there’s probably 29 other teams that would’ve gladly stashed him just to get his talent.

Dustin was also correct in guessing that pitchers Yadier Alvarez and Josh Sborz would be protected, along with corner-infielder Edwin Rios. Alvarez has been a disappointment as a prospect, but has enough talent to warrant a 40-man spot. Sborz is a solid relief prospect, and with the Dodgers DFAing/releasing three relievers today (more on that in a bit), his inclusion makes sense. Rios turned heads last spring and posted a .304/.355/.482 triple slash line in his first full year at Triple-A Oklahoma City last season.

Dustin’s only mistake was protecting the wrong corner infielder when he chose Connor Joe over Matt Beaty. The Dodgers did the opposite, adding Beaty and leaving Joe unprotected.

Beaty, coming off a Texas League MVP in 2017, missed a lot of time in 2018. He made it back for 31 games with Oklahoma City in his age-25 season and hit a solid .277/.378/.406 with a home run and 10 doubles. He controls the strike zone well and has a little pop. Toss in the fact he experience in all four corners and has even dabbled at second base and he could be popped by a team looking for a versatile bat. The Dodgers have a lot of 1B/3B/LF types, so he might be left unprotected. Protect? No.

Joe came over from the Braves late last season and experienced a Max Muncy-like resurgence with Tulsa and OKC this season. The 26-year-old hit .299/.408/.527 in 436 plate appearances between Tulsa and OKC. He added 17 home runs and 26 doubles while sporting a 13.8 BB% and 20.2 K%. He has a bit of a better defensive profile than Beaty, so that might keep him around. Protect? Yes.

Joe is a definite candidate to be claimed by another team. Drew Jackson was also not added to the 40-man roster and could be snagged up by another team, although he’s yet to reach Triple-A in four minor league seasons.

The Dodgers had to clear some room on the 40-man roster to protect the five players. They had two open spots, meaning three spots were needed.

Tom Koehler was the only Dodger signing of last offseason, and missed the entire year after suffering a shoulder injury during the spring and finally undergoing surgery in July. Tim Locastro was a fun idea of a player, as the Dodgers toyed around with the thought of using him as a pinch running specialist. He stole 20 or more bases in each of his four minor league seasons and hit relatively well in the minors, so it would be a bit of a surprise if he goes unclaimed.

Erik Goeddel and Zac Rosscup were also designated for assignment, as they were both out of options. These were arguably two of the toughest names to spell correctly on the team, so the writer in me is happy. I wrote at length about Goeddel in June, and he responded by like immediately getting shelled and then getting injured. The Dodgers added Rosscup last June off waivers and he tossed 11 1/3 innings for them last season. He allowed five runs over two outings in August, but allowed only one in his other 15 outings. Most importantly, Rosscup tossed an immaculate inning in the final inning of a blowout victory in Seattle.

The Dodgers now have a full 40-man roster, meaning more moves will likely be coming to make room for Bryce Harper and Paul Goldschmidt and Edwin Diaz.

About Alex Campos

I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.