In preparation for the start of free agency tonight, and the Rule Five draft and the Winter Meetings in December, the Detroit Tigers added four players to their 40 man roster. That is significant since it will be these forty players who are protected from the Rule Five draft, but it may signal something a little more troubling for Tiger fans. If a team does not have an opening on their 40 man roster they may not participate in the Rule Five draft. For the Tigers who don’t appear to be big players in free agency, adding players via the rule five draft would have allowed them to possibly find some talent on the cheap.
The real problem with the Rule Five draft is that those selected must be kept on the 25 man big league roster. While teams pay 50 grand to select a player in the rule five draft, if that player is not kept on the big league club he must be given back to his original club for 25 grand. The Tigers added four minor leaguers to heir 40 man protected list; 2B Scott Sizemore, SS Audy Cirialo, 1B Ryan Strieby, and OF Brennan Boesch.
Sizemore is the 2009 Detroit Tiger Minor League Player of the Year and is likely headed to the big club to be the everyday starting second baseman replacing Placido Polanco. Cirialo, who played much of the 2009 season at Class A Lakeland, may just be the short stop of the future. Strieby played 2009 with the Double A Erie Sea Wolves and may be locked out of a position since the Tigers have Miguel Cabrera signed to a long term deal. Boesch is a big bat who led the Double A Eastern League in many offensive categories. The Tigers will certainly need him in the not so distant future with a very thin outfield on the big club.
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