Fourth- and fifth-year pros not currently on their team's 40-man roster as of Nov. 20 will be available to all other teams in Thursday's Rule 5 draft.
This draft is not the most anticipated event of Major League Baseball's offseason, and there isn't likely to be a big impact from this draft felt next season. The potential for each team to walk away with a gem is certainly there.
Players like Josh Hamilton, Shane Victorino and Dan Uggla have all traveled through the Rule 5 draft in recent seasons.
Here are a few of the vitals that you need to know to enjoy and understand this draft.
When: Thursday, Dec. 12 at 9 a.m. EST
Live Audio Stream: MLB.com
To be eligible for this draft, a player cannot be on a team's 40-man roster. Beyond that, players have to fall into one of two categories.
Players who signed at the age of 18 will be eligible in their fifth season. Any player signed at 19 or older will be eligible after four seasons.
In order to participate in this draft, teams must have at least one open spot on their 40-man roster. The draft order will mirror that of the amateur draft, which goes in the inverse order of the teams' records.
Teams that select a player must pay his club $50,000. The selecting team must then keep that player on the 25-man roster for the entirety of the upcoming season. If it does not, then that team must offer the player back to his original club for $25,000.
Here are three players that will likely lead to teams tempting this process.
Marcus Hatley, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Marcus Hatley is coming off of a solid season of work.
This 6'5" right-hander posted a 3.86 ERA, a .238 opponents’ batting average and a 74-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 60.2 innings that were pitched between Double- and Triple-A.
The 25-year-old can touch 95 mph on the radar gun and has the potential to be a starter in the majors.
He is not without risk, and it remains to be seen if he can stand up to the rigors of a major league season. He has had a long path to the majors after having Tommy John surgery in 2009.
Boone Whiting, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals' wealth of pitching can benefit other teams in the Rule 5 draft.
Boone Whiting is only 6'1". He lacks the size that would suggest durability and he does not have a big downward plane. He doesn't need to be overpowering to be effective, which is good because his fastball will not crack the low 90s.
He has command with his fastball and a solid breaking ball to go with it.
Whiting's ceiling is limited, but he is a strong candidate for a back-of-the-rotation pitcher or even a long reliever.
Danny Burawa, RHP, New York Yankees
The 6'2" Danny Burawa can touch 98 mph on the gun. It remains to be seen if he will be able to do that as a reliever or a starter.
There is a reason that he is not on the Yankees' 40-man roster, however, and that stems from a lack of control.
Burawa has a long arm motion, and he is definitely more of a thrower than a pitcher at this point. Burawa has a developing changeup and a slider with good, late action, but again, he struggles with control.
Burawa is young enough that he still has plenty of time to develop his motion and his control. If a team takes him in this draft, however, it could be tough for him to make the necessary improvements while trying to adjust to the pros.