Tuesday is going to be a busy day for baseball. The SF Giants will learn what two key players plan to do with the qualifying offer. On top of this, they will need to protect eligible prospects from the Rule 5 draft by adding them to the 40-man roster.
The SF Giants have some decisions ahead with the Rule 5 draft
The 40-man roster is currently full, so any addition made will need to be followed by a corresponding deletion. The Rule 5 draft allows teams to select certain prospects from other organizations who are not on their team's 40-man roster.
Players eligible to be selected typically are college players who are four years removed from being selected in the amateur draft as well as high school and international players who signed five years ago. This means that college players drafted in 2019 are eligible for the first time, whereas high school players drafted in 2018 are eligible for the Rule 5 draft. This is a general guideline.
Teams have to commit to keeping the player on the active roster for the upcoming season or return that player to the original organization. There are nuances to this, but the hit rate on the Rule 5 draft is generally low.
The Rule 5 draft does not take place until December, but the Giants will need to protect players from it by Tuesday. Before the 2022 season began, the Giants expected this year's class to be a large one to protect. Development is never linear, meaning that some decisions are now more complicated.
The Giants will certainly protect top infield prospect Marco Luciano. Outside of him, there are no other assurances. Middle infielders Will Wilson and Tyler Fitzgerald will be eligible, but the former missed much of the season due to injury and the latter proved to be a good bat in Double-A. However, neither one is a lock to be added to the 40-man roster.
Perhaps, the biggest question mark is outfield prospect Luis Matos. Matos had a down year in High-A as he posted a .619 OPS in 407 plate appearances. It was not the type of performance that would motivate a team to use a 40-man roster spot on him, especially a team like the Giants who burn through the 40-man roster.
Former first-round pick Hunter Bishop is eligible this winter as well. However, he has struggled to stay healthy, so it is unlikely that he will be added or plucked away from the Rule 5 draft.
Starting pitchers Seth Corry, Tristan Beck and Kai-Wei Teng will be eligible, but the Giants likely do not see any from the trio as someone who can remain on another team's active roster for a whole season.
Relievers tend to be in high demand in the Rule 5 draft. It is a great area to look for an arm who can fill a role in a bullpen. The Giants have a few arms who could be of interest including Nick Avila, Chris Wright, and Joey Marciano.
Avila is probably the most likely to be added given that he had such a nice year in 2022. He posted a 1.14 ERA with a 9.8 K/9 in 47 appearances split between two levels. Wright and Marciano have tallied big strikeout numbers with subpar command, but those are the types of arms that other teams target.
Tuesday is going to be a busy day. The Giants likely protect at least two players from the Rule 5 draft with one of them being Luciano. Of course, they will need to create room for them as well.