Thanks Cubs! Phillies gain extra Rule 5 selection
by Scott Butler 12/8/13

The Phillies gained an extra pick in next Thursday's Rule 5 Draft and the reason is mysterious.

The Phillies were awarded the Cubs' pick (4th selection overall) after winning a grievance over Chicago's handling of their selection of Lendy Castillo from the Phillies in 2012.

Players chosen in the Rule 5 Draft must be on the selecting team's active 25-man roster for the entire season, but they also must be on the 25-man roster for at least 90 days during the season. The rules are in place to prevent teams from “drafting and stashing” players on the disabled list to keep them off the active roster.

Castillo was on the Cubs' disabled list for 91 days with a groin injury in 2012 before activating him in September, when rosters expand, giving him 92 days on the active roster. It doesn't take much math sense to recognize that 92 is greater than 90, so technically the Cubs were not in violation.

Then why were the Phillies awarded the pick? With no official explanation, my answer came from "commenter" in the comments section of Todd Zolecki's article:

@ChrisU LOL! We were on same page ... and from a little digging around (nothing conclusive), it appears that the Cubs were within the letter of the rule but the Phillies' grievance was that it went against the INTENT of it and they won the grievance. ... IIRC, the rule went into effect over a player who spent much of his Rule 5 season on the DL with some undisclosed stomach ailment but his new team got to keep him. (I want to say it was Willie Canate but I could be wrong).

Regardless of the specific reason, with the Cubs' pick in their back pocket, the Phillies now have the 4th and 7th selections if they choose to use them. The Phillies have 39 players on the 40-man roster, so they need to remove one player in order to use the extra selection.

I absolutely love the Rule 5 Draft and think teams with the roster space should ALWAYS make a selection because it offers essentially no risk financially. Each draftee costs $50,000. If the draftee does not stay on the selecting team's 25-man (major league) roster all season, the player must be offered back to his original team at half-price.

If the Phillies draft a player it will cost them at most $50,000 and possibly only $25,000 if his original team takes him back. David Montgomery coughs that kind of money every day and Howard earns it during a healthy dump, so why not take the risk? There is always the chance another Shane Victorino is out there just waiting to be found.

My advice to the Phillies is to trade John Mayberry right now and use both picks.

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