For the second year in a row, the Texas Rangers have had a pitcher from their minor league system selected in the major league phase of the Rule 5 Draft. After losing Mason Englert to the Detroit Tigers last year, the Rangers saw righthanded relief pitcher Justin Slaten get selected by the New York Mets today.
Slaten was a 3rd round pick in the 2019 draft out of the University of New Mexico. He was Rule 5 eligible last year, but after putting up a 6.79 ERA in 51.2 innings, he was not on anyone’s radar to be selected. Slaten put up a 2.87 ERA in 59.2 IP in 2023, however, between AA and AAA, and was seen as someone who had a strong likelihood of getting picked in this year’s draft. The Rangers added relief pitchers Marc Church and Antoine Kelly to the 40 man roster last month, as well as Grant Anderson and Jake Latz during the 2023 season, making it harder to justify also adding Slaten.
The Rangers made a pick of their own in the Rule 5 Draft, selecting New York Yankees minor league righthanded reliever Carson Coleman. A 33rd round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2019, Coleman signed with the New York Yankees as a free agent in 2020. He throws a hard, high spin fastball as his primary pitch. Coleman missed the 2023 season due to elbow surgery, so he might start the year on the 60 day injured list.
Only 10 players in all were selected in the Rule 5 Draft this year, the lowest number since 2013, when just 9 players were selected.
A player selected in the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft is added to the selecting team’s 40 man roster. The player must be be on the major league active roster or injured list for the entirety of the 2024 season or else must be exposed to waivers and, if the player clears waivers, offered back to the team who lost the player for half the Rule 5 Draft fee. A player must spend at least 90 days on the active roster, so if Coleman, for example, were to spend most of 2024 on the injured list for the Rangers, and, say, 45 days on the active roster, he’d have to spend 45 more days on the active roster in 2025 before he could be optioned to the minors.
In the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Detroit Tigers selected reliever Nick Starr from the Rangers, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected relief pitcher John Matthews from the Rangers, and the St. Louis Cardinals selected infielder Miguel Villarroel from the Rangers The Rangers did not select anyone.
UPDATE — The Mets have traded Slaten to the Boston Red Sox for 2023 10th round Ryan Ammons and cash considerations.