OAKLAND -- The A's will be tasked with more 40-man roster housekeeping in the coming days should they want to protect any players from next month's Rule 5 Draft.The A's 40-man roster is full, meaning any addition would have to be countered with a subtraction, making for a potentially tough
OAKLAND -- The A's will be tasked with more 40-man roster housekeeping in the coming days should they want to protect any players from next month's Rule 5 Draft.
The A's 40-man roster is full, meaning any addition would have to be countered with a subtraction, making for a potentially tough assignment ahead of Monday's deadline.
The Rule 5 Draft, scheduled for Dec. 14 to cap the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., allows teams to select players from other organizations who aren't on their club's 40-man roster. Teams invest $100,000 to select a player, who must remain on the Major League roster for the entire season or be offered back to their previous club for $50,000.
Players drafted or signed at age 18 or younger are eligible after five Minor League seasons. Those drafted or signed at an older age are eligible after four Minor League seasons. Translation: Any player not on the 40-man roster who signed in 2013 at 18 years or younger or in '14 at 19 years or older is a candidate this year.
Unlike last year, when the A's protected five players -- Franklin Barreto, Yairo Munoz, Jaycob Brugman, Paul Blackburn and Bobby Wahl -- there aren't any must-haves this go-round. Still, there are players in their system worthy of consideration for protection.
RHP Heath Fillmyer: Ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the A's No. 19 prospect, Fillmyer worked 149 2/3 innings across 29 starts for Double-A Midland in 2017, posting a 3.49 ERA to move his career ERA in the Minors to 3.78. The 23-year-old is on track to pitch at the Triple-A level next year, bringing him that much closer to entering the mix for a big league rotation job. He was a fifth-round pick of the A's in the 2014 Draft.
RHP Casey Meisner: A third-round selection of the Mets in the 2013 Draft, the 6-foot-7 Meisner came to the A's in the 2015 trade for reliever Tyler Clippard and has since spent the majority of his time with Class A Advanced Stockton. Following a disappointing 2016 season with the Ports, Meisner graduated to Midland this year at midseason as he attempted to rebuild his prospect stock, compiling a 4.12 ERA in 12 starts for the RockHounds. He's ranked as the A's No. 25 prospect.
RHP Lou Trivino: Trivino turned heads with an impressive 2017 showing, turning in a combined 3.03 ERA between Midland and Triple-A Nashville. The 26-year-old struck out 65 batters in 68 1/3 innings, flashing a fastball that can touch 100 mph. Trivino was drafted by the A's in the 11th round in 2013.
RHP Jake Sanchez: Sanchez, 28, is yet another fireballing relief pitcher in the A's system, but a midseason injury this year could leave him as one of the odd men out. Sanchez suffered a right ulnar stress fracture in July, prematurely ending what was shaping into a promising season. The right-hander posted a 1.37 ERA across 26 1/3 innings between Midland and Nashville, including a 1.47 ERA in 18 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. If not for the injury, Sanchez would have likely been a candidate to join the A's bullpen in the second half. At the same time, the injury could play in their favor next month, should other teams be unwilling to risk a Rule 5 Draft pick on him.
OF B.J. Boyd: A fourth-round selection by the A's in the 2012 Draft, Boyd enjoyed his best professional season yet in 2017, hitting .323 with a .366 on-base percentage for Midland. He also stole 16 bases, upping his Minor League total to 81 in 605 games. The speedy Boyd offers the A's the kind of athleticism they continually talk of adding to their big league roster. Oakland currently has a slew of center-field options, but Boyd can also play left.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.