lendy castillo cubsFor years, it has been understood that teams play games with the disabled list when it comes to Rule 5 draft picks. Teams do this, of course, because carrying a “grab-and-stash” type youngster on the 25-man roster all year can be tough. Fortunately for those teams, a player must be active on the 25-man roster for only 90 days for the team to retain his rights. That means minor injuries tend to pop up a lot for Rule 5 draftees.

None of that is to say that the Chicago Cubs were definitively playing games with pitcher Lendy Castillo’s back/groin/arm/neck/fingernail injury in 2012 (I kid – I’m sure it was a specific injury that wasn’t discussed very much because the team wasn’t any good, and Castillo wasn’t either at the time). But, he was injured, and the Cubs ended up having him on the 25-man roster just long enough to get to keep him. The Phillies were undoubtedly pissed about losing Castillo, who was a converted infielder and hadn’t pitched above A-ball at the time the Cubs took him.

It appears that they filed some kind of grievance, because multiple reports (example here from Sahadev Sharma) today indicate that the Cubs have given the Phillies their pick in the Rule 5 Draft this year (4th overall) to settle a dispute. I seem to recall vague whispers of MLB cracking down on disabled list shenanigans for Rule 5 players a couple years ago, and maybe we’re now seeing an outgrowth of those whispers. The real shame of it is that Castillo didn’t really rebound last year for the Cubs in the minors, and is now a borderline non-prospect.

Keep in mind that the Cubs could still pick in the draft by way of a pre-arranged deal with another team (i.e., you pick this guy for us, trade him to us, we pay you $50,000). Bruce Miles says the Cubs unlikely to take a player anyway, so there may not be much of a loss here. If the Cubs genuinely do decide not to take a player by way of a trade, then they’ll simply get to use that extra 40-man roster spot (and then 25-man roster spot) at some other point this offseason. It always sucks to be limited, but there aren’t too many tears to shed today.

The Rule 5 Draft takes place next week at the Winter Meetings.

  • Kyle

    I blame Jim Hendry.

    • Edwin

      I blame Crane Kenney.

      • aaronb

        I blame Michael Barrett

        • cub1

          but not for punching A.J. Pierzynski

        • Wilbur

          I blame Michael Bolton

          • Cheese Chad

            Take that back, IMMEDIATELY.

            • aaronb


              • Hee Seop Chode

                Best chain ever

          • Required

            I blame Koye Hill

        • TK

          I blame Bartman!

  • terencemann

    I didn’t know Lendy was a converted fielder.

    • Andrew

      Ya he is the weight that prince fielder lost

      • Cheese Chad

        I laughed out loud here

      • Funn Dave

        Comment of the day. Kinda mean but hilarious.

  • JL

    This is off the subject. But how in the hell does the cardinals get a comp pick in the draft for being a “small market team” when their payroll is bigger than the cubs.

    • Kyle

      Because their market is small.

      • MichaelD

        Well their main market is small (St. Louis) but their market goes well beyond that (Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, etc.). It is a debatable point in that the Cardinals should not get penalized for expanding their market, but much of that growth came years ago, so the current team inherited it.

        • aaronb

          The Cubs market range goes well beyond Chicago. And if the MLB product wasn’t so pathetic, they could really tap into it.

          • MichaelD

            I wouldn’t disagree with this. My whole point is that even though St. Louis is similar in size to Pittsburgh or Denver, the Cardinals’ baseball market is a lot bigger than the other teams in the competitive balance draft.

            • aaronb

              I live in Memphis. And while yes there are a ton of Card fans down here. It would shock you how many Cubs fans there are here also.

              • wvcubsfan

                “I live in Memphis”

                Well then, that explains a lot.

                • YourResidentJag

                  Says the man who lives in West Virginia??

                  • wvcubsfan

                    No, but I’d much rather live just about anywhere in WV than in Memphis.

                    Now there are still a few nice areas in the outlying areas around Memphis, so maybe that’s where he resides.

                    • aaronb

                      Yes, I live in Eastern burbs.

                    • Patrick W.

                      Yes, but are you a Cubs fan?

              • MichaelD

                Are you trying to suggest that there are not a lot of Cardinals fans in Memphis?

                • aaronb

                  Absolutely not. There are a majority of Cards fans here. The AAA Redbirds are here.

                  I’m just saying that there is a large segment of Cubs fans as well. We have a huge national fanbase mostly thanks to WGN when we were kids.

                  • MichaelD

                    The Cubs and Cardinals have for a long time had extended fanbases. Before expansion and franchise movements, the South and between the Mississippi and the Rockies was pretty much all Cards, Cubs and Yankees. Those loyalties still remain and mean that those teams have bigger markets than their home markets. It is not all about WGN, and the Cards benefit too.

      • TK

        I would think their must be some kind of formula used that accounts for multiple factors in addition to location and payroll. Mets are in a big market, but to say they should be seen as equal to the Yankess would be ludicrous. Same goes for the California teams. Cubs draw more than the Wife’s Sox, so surely must be seen as having an edge in the whole “competitve balance” scheme. It cant be any simple concept that determines it, can it?

        • Kyle

          I don’t see why it can’t be that simple, but I’m not sure how MLB determines it for this purpose.

      • ND Cub

        My market can beat up your market.

    • terencemann

      It goes by market size and not by payroll. The “competitive balance” rounds are a joke.

      • YourResidentJag


      • aaronb

        I think the original thinking is that big market teams were supposed to act like big market teams.

        Not the Cardinals fault that Frank McCourt bought the Chicago Cubs.

      • North Side Irish

        I believe Detroit was eligible for one last season too (after signing Fielder) but didn’t get picked in the lottery.

    • Whiteflag

      They had one last year. It’s BS, I agree. Must be that voodoo magic!

    • Edwin

      Teams like the Cubs, Dodgers, and Yankees get a natural advantage due to their geographical location. They have access to a much larger market. The competative balance pick is supposed to help make up for this natural advantage.

      It wouldn’t make sense to use payroll, because then it would reward teams for cutting payroll just to get one of these competative lottery picks. It also wouldn’t make sense to base it off of previous record, because then it would just be rewarding teams for bad management.

      I’m not sure why Cubs fans complain about this.

      • MichaelD

        I think it not fair for Cubs fans to complain about the Cubs not getting a pick. I think it is fair to complain about the Cardinals getting one.

  • Blackhawks1963


    For the love of God I hope we are all finished up forever with Rule V players !!

  • Eric

    Meh. This will amount to nothing more than fuel to the armchair GMs who constantly rail against this FO. Personally, I’m glad to hear we weren’t going to be making a pick.

    • Kyle

      I’m a little amused by it, but it doesn’t matter. I agree, we didn’t need to be making a pick this year.

  • Bilbo161

    Why the delayed reaction? Didn’t the statute of limitations run out? Seems a bit after the facts to me. Maybe bad feelings from MLB because we took advantage of the rules on international signings this year?

    • Jose’s Eyelid

      I think it is “Statue” of limitations

      • Eric


        • TWC


      • wvcubsfan

        That would be the statue they would build for him, one with serious limitations.

  • North Side Irish

    I’m confused…what did the Cubs do that was against the rules? What did they do that other teams didn’t in past seasons? Is it just questioning the validity of the injuries necessitating his DL stint?

    • Bilbo161

      The league must be claiming we lied about the injuries that kept him on the DL a lot of the time that year.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Not that this is likely, but once the Phillies make their pick in round one of the Rule 5, would the Cubs get the pick back in round two? Or would the Phillies retain that spot for all rounds?

    Multiple rounds are rare in rule fives (once a team passes they pass for good, but a team who takes a player in one round has the option of taking a player in the next round – or so it used to work, anyway), but it has happened.

    • http://comicsandcardsupplies.com cms0101

      The Cubs would get their pick back. In fact, I think what will happen is the Cubs will make the pick for the Phillies and then just send the player to them. I don’t think you can “trade” Rule 5 draft pick slots. Just the players chosen.

    • On The Farm

      I would assume they would still be able to pick in the second round (doubt there will be anyone they want though) since they didn’t “pass”. Technically is the second round is the first time they picked so it should just be like they didn’t have a 1st round pick to begin with.

      Question though, does this mean the Phils get two Rule 5 picks? Why would any team want to have to stash two non-MLB players on their 25 man all year? Also, had the Cubs been a team that was picking something like 22nd, I wonder if the Phils would have even pushed for the compensation? Makes me wonder if they have their eye on someone or are they actually pissed at the Cubs? Still seems pretty meh overall.

  • http://bleachernation Ferris

    Im not wanting to wait anymore either,acording to baseball america we have a top five farm…two yrs ago before theo an jed co. Took over we were bottom five so thats great right, if we get a decent haul for shark we will be top three, an with the low payroll we should be able to add three or four free agents easily or make a trade.garza/tanaka or feldman….plus a relief pitcher and a bat.and some of the youngsters will b up…olt,maybe soler…….trade barney,vitters an coleman for kendricks.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      The Cubs did not have a bottom five farm system two years ago. They were generally in the 15-20 range, I believe.

      That said, the front office has still done a very nice job improving the system and loading it up with impact talent.

      • Eternal pessemist

        But are the cubs really only top 5? Not top 2-3? Top 5 seems an underestimate to me.

        • Funn Dave

          Always depends on whom you ask. I’ve seen us ranked fifth, fourth, and third, but usually not any higher or lower.

  • YourResidentJag

    I think you said, Brett, you wanted an updated picture of Renteria. Not great but appears to be wearing a Cubs uniform: pic.twitter.com/ZYD6qp2Y5t

  • Edwin

    Sometimes it seems that the rule 5 system hurts players more than it helps. It seems most players just wind up wasting development time being stashed on a big league bench. Hopefully MLB changes the current system, maybe by bumping back the age limit. Seems especially tough on international prospects.

    • On The Farm

      You would think the players would be okay with that (pushing the age back for international players at least) and teams would be on board with it too.

  • Steve

    I blame Bozo!!!

    • Fishin Phil

      OK, now you have stepped over the line!

      • Edwin

        Just like all those kids who cheated at Bozo’s Grand Prize game.

        • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle


  • TK

    I like this FO, but they sure do seem to be stepping on a lot of toes.

  • jim

    Am taking dallas green n ryno over theo the arrogant. Remember, baez is hendry pick.

  • jim

    Better draft pitchers

  • YourResidentJag

    Nice photo if I do say so myself: Kelly Crull ‏@kcru11 2m
    #Cubs fans allow me 2 introduce u 2 ur new manager Rick Renteria tonight on @CSNChicago! Hear his thoughts on 2014! pic.twitter.com/XiSub9d5lN

  • Funn Dave

    Sucks but I’m glad to see MLB is cracking down on dubious injuries–or at least trying to.

    That said, if the MLB’s choosing to target specifically the Cubs because of lingering ill will from their abuse of the IFA restrictions–as someone suggests above–then that is a real shame.

  • FarmerTanColin

    Then we should get the Astros pick for Marwin Gonzalez right?

  • Die hard

    MLB should tweak these draft rules until us avg Joes can understand them

  • Kevin

    This has got to be a joke. This was 2 years ago. The phillies should be shit out of luck. But MLB has handled this pathetically. Worse case scenario the cubs should just have to give Lendy Castillo back. This is so unprofessional by MLB.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Not a big deal because its Lendy Castillo but I’m annoyed because I wanted to see if the Cubs could grab a High risk/high reward pitcher and stash him the bullpen. It just someone fun to root for and dream they could be the next Josh Hamilton as likely as that isn’t to be

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Isn’t there 2 rounds of the Rule 5 draft? So we technically could still draft someone but our 2nd round pick would be at 35?

  • Reality Check

    there’s enough crap on this supposed MLB roster; no need to keep another rule 5 pick.

  • cubsin

    Are the Phillies still pissed off enough to draft one of our unprotected players with our former pick just for spite?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Heh. Maybe.

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