CINCINNATI -- There may not be an in-person Winter Meetings in 2020 because of the pandemic, but one tradition will continue on Thursday. The annual Rule 5 Draft, which usually caps the Meetings, will still be held -- albeit remotely -- at 12 p.m. ET.
The Reds will have the 18th selection in the Major League portion of the Draft. Cincinnati has 31 players on its 40-man roster (not counting the suspended Vladimir Gutierrez), so there is space to take a flier on a player or prospect left unprotected by his club.
Formats and eligibility have changed over the years, but in 2020, 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 Draft process. Players signed at age 19 or older have to be protected within four seasons. Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. If that player doesn't stay on the 26-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $50,000.
Here are all the players the Reds have selected through the Rule 5 process.
2019: A’s OF Mark Payton -- Returned to Oakland on July 21 and traded back to the Reds for cash on Aug. 7. He went 3-for-18 in eight games for Cincinnati in 2020.
2018: Dodgers catcher Connor Joe -- Traded to the Giants on March 21, 2019, and appeared in eight games that season.
2017: D-backs RHP Brad Keller -- Keller was traded to the Royals for cash immediately after the Draft in a pre-arranged deal.
**2016: Yankees catcher Luis Torrens, Twins catcher Stuart Turner --**Torrens was immediately traded to the Twins for a player to be named and cash. Turner batted .134 in 37 games for the Reds in 2017.
2015: Yankees OF Jake Cave, Angels LHP Chris O’Grady -- Cave was returned to the Yankees on April 5, 2016, and spent the last three seasons with the Twins. O’Grady was returned to the Angels and spent 2017-18 with the Marlins.
2008: Rockies RHP David Patton -- Traded to the Cubs for cash immediately following the Draft.
2007: Braves RHP Sergio Valenzuela -- Returned to the Braves on March 10, 2008.
2006: Rays OF Josh Hamilton, A’s RHP Jared Burton -- Hamilton, who was picked by the Cubs and promptly dealt to Cincinnati in a pre-arranged deal, batted .292 with a .922 OPS and 19 home runs in 90 games in 2007. He was traded to the Rangers after the season for starting pitcher Edinson Volquez and lefty reliever Daniel Ray Herrera. Hamilton became a superstar for Texas as a five-time All-Star and the 2010 American League MVP.
Burton was a quality reliever for the Reds for five seasons, posting a 3.41 ERA in 164 appearances before spending his final three big league seasons with the Twins.
2003: Mets RHP D.J. Mattox -- Spent the season on the 60-day injured list after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
2002: Red Sox RHP Jerome Gamble, Dodgers RHP Luke Prokopec, Cardinals RHP Blake Williams -- None played for the Reds in the Majors.
1999: Dodgers LHP Adrian Burnside -- Sold back to the Dodgers on March 13, 2000.
1997: Cardinals RHP Keith Glauber -- Had a 3.00 ERA in seven games for Cincinnati from 1998 to 2000.
1996: Indians LHP Noe Najera -- Sold back to Cleveland on March 15, 1997.
1993: Giants OF Adam Hyzdu -- Sold back to the Giants and immediately traded back to the Reds on March 31, 1994. Batted .229 over seven big league seasons but never appeared for Cincinnati.
1992: Indians OF William Canate -- Traded to the Blue Jays on April 13, 1993, for cash considerations.