Having added their top prospects to the 40-man roster last month, the New York Mets escaped the Rule 5 Draft without any prospect loss.
The New York Mets have held the status quo on their roster after the 2016 Rule 5 Draft. The team’s 40-man roster was full, making it so a pick in the draft was impossible. On the flip side, no major prospects were plucked from their minor league system either.
There were a total of two Mets players selected – the Seattle Mariners selected LHP Paul Paez and the Los Angeles Angels selected LHP Adrian Almeida. Both players were chosen in the Triple-A phase of the draft, with Paez in the first round and Almeida in the second.
The 5-foot-7 Paez has been a reliever in the Mets’ farm system for four seasons, compiling a 3.29 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 164 career innings. He was selected two consecutive years by the Mets in the MLB Draft in 2012 and ’13, ultimately deciding to join the organization that second time.
At High-A St. Lucie in 2016, Paez contributed three saves with a 1.00 ERA, earning a call-up to Double-A Binghamton. But Paez struggled there to the tune of a 9.15 ERA and four home runs allowed in just 19.2 innings.
Almeida was a Venezuelan signee in 2012 at the age of 17, and was a relatively successful starting pitcher during his first three seasons in the organization. But since 2015, Almeida has struggled, posting 5.94 and 5.92 ERAs each year respectively.
The Rule 5 Draft is a somewhat forgotten phenomenon that takes place during the MLB Winter Meetings. Players eligible to be drafted are those not on the 40-man roster of any team in the league. The draft is divided into two parts – the Major League Phase and the Triple-A Phase.
Depending on which phase a player is drafted, that’s at least the level of the organization the player must remain on – or on the disabled list – for the entirety of the upcoming season. If a team fails to do this, then the player is returned to their original team. However, if this promise is fulfilled, then the player remains with the drafting team.
General manager Sandy Alderson protected himself from any major losses on November 18, when he added MLB.com Top 30 Mets prospects shortstop Amed Rosario, catcher Tomas Nido, and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra to the 40-man roster.
Mets fans who may disregard this draft as a minute detail in the grand scheme of an MLB offseason will want to remember lefty reliever and spot-starter Sean Gilmartin, who the Mets stole out from under the Minnesota Twins in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft.
Gilmartin had a rough 2016, but was great for manager Terry Collins in 2015, gathering a 2.67 ERA in 57.1 innings of work. Five of those innings were actually in a start against the Philadelphia Phillies to end the 2015 season – a game in which Gilmartin allowed two earned runs over five innings pitched.