Major League Baseball held its annual Rule 5 Draft on Wednesday afternoon. For those unfamiliar with the event, teams take turns selecting minor-league players who meet certain eligibility criteria. Those players must then be employed on the big-league roster for the duration of the upcoming season, otherwise they're offered back to their original teams. (You can read more about the inner workings of the draft by clicking here.)
A total of 10 picks were made in this year's Rule 5 Draft. Below, CBS Sports has provided analysis on each of them.
1. Oakland Athletics: RHP Mitch Spence (Yankees)
No team was raided more than the Yankees, who saw three of their pitchers selected, including two at the top. Spence started 29 times in Triple-A last season, tallying a 4.47 ERA and a 2.89 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His weaponry includes a low-90s fastball and a variety of breaking balls that missed bats. Given the state of Oakland's roster, he's a decent candidate to stick.
2. Kansas City Royals: RHP Matt Sauer (Yankees)
Sauer, a second-round pick in 2017, made 14 appearances in Double-A last season, with 13 of those coming in a starting role. He posted a 3.42 ERA with a 2.86 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Royals could theoretically let him compete for a rotation spot in the spring before deciding if they'd prefer him in relief.
3. Colorado Rockies: RHP Anthony Molina (Rays)
Molina split last season between Double- and Triple-A, compiling a 4.50 ERA and a 2.68 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has a three-pitch mix: a mid-90s fastball, slider, and changeup. Of the three, the cambio missed the highest rate of bats at Triple-A, generating an empty swing 35% of the time.
4. Chicago White Sox: LHP Shane Drohan (Red Sox)
From our Rule 5 preview: "The Red Sox lost one near-ready arm last winter in Thaddeus Ward; they may lose another this go around in Drohan. The 24-year-old lefty split last season between the upper minors, dominating Double-A before scuffling in Triple-A. Overall, he accumulated a 5.05 ERA and a 1.79 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Drohan has a varied arsenal, including a pair of low-90s fastballs, a slider and a cutter, and a changeup that generated a 46% whiff rate after previously lagging behind his other offerings. The team that takes Drohan will likely envision him developing into a back-end starter. Our sources were mixed on his potential, however, with one pegging his upside as a multi-inning reliever."
5. Washington Nationals: SS Nasim Nuñez (Marlins)
Also from our Rule 5 preview: "The two kinds of Rule 5 picks who are easiest to hide on a roster for a season are relievers and glove-first reserves. Nuñez, 23, fits in the latter bin. He's a rangy fielder with experience at both up-the-middle positions. Unfortunately, he's available because he's a wretched hitter. Nuñez, possessor of a career .644 OPS, offers zero power and a walk rate that's unlikely to transfer to the majors as a result. It's such a bad free-agent class for middle infielders that some teams might view Nuñez as a worthwhile addition to their bench."
6. St. Louis Cardinals: RHP Ryan Fernandez (Red Sox)
Fernandez, originally drafted in 2018, has been limited by injuries to just 128 career regular-season appearances. Of those, 42 came last season, including 26 in Triple-A. His results were so-so (6.16 ERA, 3.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio), but he showed off a mid-90s fastball and generated more than 30% whiffs.
8. New York Mets: RHP Justin Slaten (Rangers)
Slaten split last season between Double- and Triple-A, compiling a 3.16 ERA and a 4.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His repertoire includes a 96 mph fastball with more than 18 inches of induced vertical break and a quality slider. The Mets have already traded Slaten to the Red Sox for LHP Ryan Ammons and cash considerations.
10. Cleveland Guardians: 3B Deyvison De Los Santos (Diamondbacks)
De Los Santos spent 2023 in Double-A, where he batted .254/.297/.431 with 20 home runs in 113 games. He has big-time raw power, routinely launching home runs out to right and right-center field. Unfortunately, De Los Santos has a rough approach (as his sub-.300 OBP indicates) and it's hard to see him sticking on a big-league roster all season long at this stage in his career.
15. San Diego Padres: RHP Stephen Kolek (Mariners)
For those wondering, Kolek is the brother of former top-five pick Tyler Kolek. Anyway, this Kolek split last season between Double- and Triple-A, amassing a 3.76 ERA and a 2.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 49 appearances. His arsenal includes a pair of mid-90s fastballs that generated tons of weak ground balls.
23. Texas Rangers: RHP Carson Coleman (Yankees)
Coleman, a pure reliever, missed the 2023 season after undergoing elbow surgery in the spring. The last time we saw him on the mound, he struck out 13.5 batters per nine innings in 44 appearances across High- and Double-A. Coleman throws hard and from a flat release point, but the rest of his game needs work. The Rangers can afford to let him take his sweet time recovering.