The Rule 5 Draft - who should Sabes protect this year? (With Poll!)

The 2012 Rule 5 Draft will take place on Dec. 6th, the last day of the 4 day long Winter Meetings. I believe that the last day for teams to set their 40-man rosters prior to the Rule 5 Draft is Nov. 30th. The Giants have some difficult decisions to make with the bottom part of the 40-man roster now that the regulars season is over and another crop of minor leaguers has become eligible for the December Rule 5 for the first time in their careers.

The following 10 vets are now officially free agents and off the 40-man roster:
Melky, Pagan, Scoots, Theriot, Huff, Affeldt, Franchez, Nady, Mota, and Brad Penny

In addition, Brian Wilson and Eric Surkamp are both on injured-reserve at least through Opening Day 2013 (and Wilson might even be non-tendered in November) so they don't count when calculating the 40-man roster are now back on the 40-man roster now that the 2012 season ended on October 28th.

That leaves the Giants with 30 32 30 guys (it's back to 30 now that Burriss and Hensley have been DFA'd off of the 40-man roster) currently on the 40-man roster and gives them 10 8 10 spots to play with. Here's the full list:
Pitchers: Zito, Timmy, Cainer, Vogie, MadBum, Romo, Lopez, Casilla, Kontos, Mijares, Hensley, Wilson, Surkamp
Hitters: Buster, BBelt, Crawdaddy, Panda, Blanco, Pence, Hector, Arias
Minors: Adrianza, Burriss, Gillaspie, Roger K, Machi, Otero, Frankie Pegs, Petit, Pill, Runzler, AnVil

In reality, though, there are at least 4 sposts currently open on the 25-man roster that I'm sure Sabes will be leaving open for free agent signees or newly acquired players via trade - even if it takes him into spring training to fill those spots. These spots would be:

1. a starting 2B (this could end up being Scutaro)
2. a starting CF (this could end up being Pagan)
3. a UT infielder (this could likely be Ryan Theriot)
4. a starting LF (this could end up as a guy already on the 40-man - like Blanco or Frankie Pegs)

Let's pad those 4 reserved spots by 1 floating spot (for a final total of 6 5) to allow Sabes some flexibility this offseason for trades and possibly drafting a Rule 5 guy from another team. That leaves us with the final total of 4 3 roster spots available for current minor league prospects - in order to avoid Rule 5 availability. Here are the list of key names that will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft if Sabes doesn't protect them (those with a "+" after their names are newly eligible):

Brock Bond
Ryan Cavan +
Hector Correa (Correa is a free agent who can sign a deal with any team)
Chris Dominguez +
Jake Dunning +
Edwin Escobar +
Justin Fitzgerald
Jesus Galindo +
Chris Gloor +
Chris Heston +
Ryan Lollis +
Nick Noonan
Juan Carlos Perez
Craig Westcott +

The only names from the above list that I would consider putting on the 40-man roster right now are the 2 starting pitchers from Richmond's roster, Chris Heston and Chris Gloor, and the 2 Caribbean youngsters from the Augusta roster, Jesus Galindo and Edwin Escobar. All the other guys either fall into the "I don't care if we lose them" category, or the "I don't think another team will keep them on their 25-man roster all season even if they do get drafted" category. I'm not saying that none of the other names on the list are desireable prospects, but I am saying that I doubt another team will draft them, pay the Giants $50K, and then keep them on their major league 25-man roster for the entire 2013 season.

I should also note that if Sabes finds that he needs another 40-man spot in a hurry, I would have no issue with him DFAing any of the following guys that are on the current 40-man roster:
Burriss, Otero, or Pill

This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

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