Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Omar Luis Is Unprotected From Rule 5 Draft

Last year the New York Yankees made a huge splash in the International Free Agent market before the new collective bargaining agreement put a cap on each teams spending in the international pool when they signed pitcher Omar Luis for $4 million. Luis is a left handed pitcher and 21 years old and he defected from his native Cuba and obtained residency in Haiti last season before being signed the night before the new rules were implemented. Long story story the Yankees did not like something they saw on his physical, voided the contract, and re-signed him to a slightly smaller $2.5 million contract.

Major League Baseball ruled that since the original deal was signed before the new rules were implemented that he would be grandfathered in under the old rules but the problems did not stop there. Due to the fact that he was signed twice by the same team and was not added to the 40 man roster he will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft next month. Ben Badler reports that this is not unprecedented as teams like the Brewers, Reds, and Mariners have had similar situations pop up in recent years since the new CBA was implemented.

There is no way that Luis is chosen this year and if he is there is no way he stick on a 40 man roster all season, being hidden or not, but that is not the problem. The problem is next year he will be Rule 5 draft eligible as well, and the year after that, and the year after that. The Yankees can always protect him and add him to the 40 man roster but that starts to burn up minor league options quickly as Luis has never pitched above rookie ball in his career. If Luis gets taken and returned twice he can also elect free agency rather then be returned to the Yankees so a ton of things can go wrong with one of the better Yankees prospects in their system right now.

The 2014 season will be a big indicator for Luis and the Yankees going forward as we have to rush his development, protect him, or risk him going to pitch for someone else.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)