At a rough estimate, the Yankees have over 80 players that are eligible for the annual Rule 5 draft in December. That list includes such highly prized prospects as Justus Sheffield, Chance Adams, Juan De Paula, and more.
This will also be the first-time members of the highly touted 2014 international free agent class become eligible. The one saving grace is that top prospect Estevan Florial is not eligible for the Rule 5 draft until 2019, due to him signing in 2015 and not in 2014 even though he is considered part of the 2014 class.
With all the media coverage about the Yankees need for a starting pitcher, it is not surprising to see a few of these prospect names comes up as options for the rotation or trades for a pitcher. While the majority of the Rule 5 eligible players are at the Class-A and Rookie ball levels, there are still plenty in the upper-levels of the minors that could bring back some international free agent budget space or a high-upside lower level prospect.
That said, like in the past couple of years the Rule 5 crunch could find some players that are currently on the 40-man roster traded to open space. Players like Domingo Acevedo, Thairo Estrada, Billy McKinney, Brand Drury, or Clint Frazier could find themselves traded a long with others for an arm.
The big names, the Justus Sheffield’s or Chance Adams, that are eligible this year will almost certainly be added to the 40-man in November, but who else is available for the draft that could bring back something of value for the Yankees?
Dillon Tate could fetch a handsome return if he were to be traded, if you package him with several of the players currently on the 40-man roster, you could find yourself with a quality MLB starting pitcher that can plug a hole in the rotation.
Tate has a 4-2 record with a 3.27 ERA in 13 games this season for the Trenton Thunder, striking out 65 in 71 2/3 innings pitched.
Could a package of Tate, Frazier, Drury, and Acevedo be enough to entice the Mets to trade one of Jacob DeGrom or Noah Syndergaard? Who knows? Anyone saying it would be just speculating just like I am. I would not guess what it would take to get one of them.
The Yankees certainly have enough Rule 5 eligible prospects that they can ship to the Mets if the number of players was the thing they want.
The most significant prospect available, after the three mentioned above, will be Dermis Garcia. Garcia is a power-hitting corner infielder that has seen time split between first base and third base throughout his four years in the minors. Last season was a breakout year for him, hitting 17 home runs in 63 games between the Rookie-Advance Pulaski Yankees and the Class-A Charleston RiverDogs and hit a combined .249/.357/.518 in 225 at-bats.
On the position player side, Kyle Holder, one of the Yankees 2015 first-round draft picks will become available in the Rule 5. The Yankees could protect him on the 40-man roster or opt to hide him on the Triple-A roster to avoid him being selected but I believer he is an option to be traded. He is buried behind many others in the Yankees organization, and it would undoubtedly be in his best interests to be traded.
Erik Swanson, the 24-year-old starter who dominated Double-A earlier this season, has been struggling a bit in Triple-A and is among those who become eligible for the Rule 5 draft this year. Could he find himself added to a package for a major league starter or traded for addition budget room for this year’s International free agent class? Who knows.
One thing is sure is that the Yankees have plenty of players that can be selected. The reality is maybe at most 6-10 will be chosen in either the major league or minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft. There may be a few more traded as part of a package for a starter or international cash.
To view the complete list of players eligible scroll down.