ATLANTA -- The Braves added infielder Elmer Reyes and two pitchers -- Carlos Perez and Luis Vasquez -- to their 40-man roster in anticipation of next month's Rule 5 Draft.
Players first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they become eligible to be drafted by other organizations through the Rule 5 process. Players signed at 19 years or older have to be protected within four seasons. Clubs pay $50,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft, slated to take place on Thursday, Dec. 12. If that player doesn't stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $25,000.
In other words, an international player or high school draftee signed in 2009, assuming they were 18 or under as of June 5 of that year, must be protected. A college player taken in the 2010 Draft is in the same boat.
Reyes has batted .259 with a .690 OPS in the 447 games he has played since the Braves signed him out of Nicaragua in 2009. The Braves thought about promoting the slick-fielding infielder to Atlanta in August, after Tyler Pastornicky tore his anterior cruciate ligament and Dan Uggla underwent LASIK surgery during the same week.
After showing some offensive potential while hitting .285 in 123 games with Class A Advanced Lynchburg this year, Reyes spent the past six weeks competing in the Arizona Fall League. He batted .256 with a .696 OPS in the 13 games he played for Scottsdale.
Perez opened some eyes when he posted a 2.25 ERA and recorded 37 strikeouts in the 32 innings he compiled over 20 relief appearances for Class A Rome at the beginning of this past season. The 22-year-old left-hander battled a minor elbow ailment that limited him to just nine appearances after he was promoted to Lynchburg in June. But the Braves are confident Perez will have no limitations when Spring Training begins.
Vasquez was signed by the Braves as a six-year Minor League free agent on Nov. 5. While spending each of the past seasons in the Dodgers' Minor League system, he compiled a 4.98 ERA in 161 appearances, just 16 of which were starts. The 27-year-old right-hander posted a 2.52 ERA and totaled 46 strikeouts in the 35 2/3 innings he combined to complete for Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Albuquerque this year.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.