Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Rule 5 Daft Decisions Loom Ahead of Deadline

The deadline to add Rule 5 eligible prospects to the 40-Man roster has arrived and the Pittsburgh Pirates have some decisions to make on who to protect and who to leave unprotected before 6 p.m. tonight.
Tsung-Che Cheng
Tsung-Che Cheng / Shi Tang/GettyImages
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The Pittsburgh Pirates are now on the clock to decide which Rule 5 eligible prospects could be protected and added to the 40-Man roster. With a couple open 40-Man spots, General Manager Ben Cherington can either be aggressive and protect a few prospects or be defensive and hope that they won’t be selected by another team once the Rule 5 draft arrives later in the offseason.

Last year, the Pittsburgh Pirates lost a dozen players in the 2022-2023 Rule 5 draft; the majority of which were organizational depth pieces in the minor leagues. The only notable prospect that was selected by another team was catcher Blake Sabol, who was selected by the Cincinnati Reds and subsequently traded to the San Francisco Giants. Sabol immediately became a quality player for the Giants during the 2023 season and some Pirates fans (myself included) were surprised and disappointed that Sabol was not added to the 40-Man roster before last year’s deadline. However, the Pirates did select left-handed pitcher José Hernández from the Dodgers, who became a reliable bullpen option for the Pirates in 2023 as well as outfielder Josh Palacios in the minor league portion of the draft.

The Pirates have a few openings on the 40-Man roster in which Ben Cherington could fill those vacancies with Rule 5 eligible prospects, and leave an extra spot to add a player in the Rule 5 draft. Today, we will be looking at potential prospects that the Pirates could add to the 40-Man roster before tonight’s 6 p.m. deadline.