SAN DIEGO -- It's nearing decision time for the Padres and a few of their long-time Minor Leaguers.The San Diego front office has until 5 p.m. PT on Monday to protect any eligible players from the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place next month at the Winter Meetings. San Diego
SAN DIEGO -- It's nearing decision time for the Padres and a few of their long-time Minor Leaguers.
The San Diego front office has until 5 p.m. PT on Monday to protect any eligible players from the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place next month at the Winter Meetings. San Diego currently has two spaces available on its 40-man roster, giving general manager A.J. Preller some room to add.
Any players taken in the Rule 5 Draft must remain in the Major Leagues for an entire season or be offered back to their original clubs. (Luis Torrens, Allen Cordoba and Miguel Diaz were all Rule 5 selections who stuck with San Diego last year.)
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Although none of the Padres' Top 30 Prospects are Rule 5 Draft eligible, it's still plausible that the club will fill those two remaining spots Monday. (Teams have plenty of time to clear roster space later, if they plan on making a Rule 5 selection). Here are some players to keep an eye on ahead of Monday's deadline.
Franmil Reyes, OF
Nobody doubts Reyes' power. The 22-year-old right fielder led all Padres Minor Leaguers with 25 home runs this past season. He batted .258/.322/.464 in 135 games for Double-A San Antonio. Big league teams might balk at his defense, and he's currently recovering from a broken hamate bone in his hand. But Reyes' power bat makes him a serious candidate to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft if the Padres don't protect him.
T.J. Weir, RHP
A 17th-round Draft pick in 2014, Weir has proven himself one of the system's most reliable bullpen arms over the past two seasons. He posted a 2.09 ERA in 46 appearances between Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore and San Antonio, and he's thrived so far in the Arizona Fall League. Given Weir's ability to pitch in multiple roles, it's conceivable a big league club might scoop him in the Rule 5 Draft and stash him at the back of a bullpen.
Brad Wieck, LHP
Wieck struggled when he made the jump from San Antonio to Triple-A El Paso this summer. He posted a 10.29 ERA in nine appearances for the Chihuahuas (after a 2.64 mark in Double-A). His recent numbers aren't encouraging. But Wieck is a 6-foot-9 left-hander, and all 30 big league clubs could use some additional lefty relief help. One of them might take a chance on Wieck if he's unprotected.
Ruddy Giron, SS/3B
Once a top-five prospect in the organization, Giron has yet to take the steps forward that the Padres had hoped for. He batted .233/.290/.347 for Lake Elsinore. It seems unlikely the 20-year-old infielder would be on the radar of a big league club. But the Padres took a chance on an infielder with less experience last year when they snagged Cordoba from the Cardinals.
Jason Jester, RHP
Jester, a 26-year-old righty reliever, is the only member of this group who spent his entire 2017 season at Triple-A. But he posted a 5.91 ERA in 67 innings, and his chances of being a Rule 5 Draft pick are probably low. That makes it unlikely that the Padres would add him to their 40-man roster, though he could receive a big league Spring Training invite anyway.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.