The Seattle Mariners 2019 Offseason Primer
Rule 5 Eligible Players
Right now, the only minor leaguer I would guarantee to make the jump onto the Mariners’ 40-man roster this offseason is Braden Bishop.
Bishop is one of the Mariners top prospects and their closest outfield prospect to the majors. He figures to debut in 2019, and given his age/experience and strong if abbreviated showing in AA in 2018, he could easily be scooped up in the Rule 5 Draft if he is not protected.
I would think Joey Curletta is the next likeliest candidate to be added. First-base prospects aren’t often taken in the Rule 5 Draft because they are hard to roster for a full season, but Curletta could be considered one of the best bats in the Mariners’ system after his standout 2018 and has a good case to be protected because of that and his proximity to the majors.
Behind these two, there is a chance that relievers Art Warren and Matt Tenuta are protected as well.
Warren’s addition would follow the precedent set by Dipoto’s protection of Thyago Vieira a couple years ago, yet he was particularly wild in 2018 and was shelved for an extended amount of time due to injury. Both factors could allow him to slip through the Rule 5 Draft, but his stuff could play in the majors right now on his good days.
Matt Tenuta has taken time to adjust to High-A and AA ball in recent years but eventually adjusted exceedingly well, making his initial struggles in AAA less cause for concern. The lefty really got going in AA this year before that promotion as he posted a 2.98 ERA and 2.28 FIP in 45.1 IP over 28 appearances with 52 strikeouts to just 13 unintentional walks. Given the Mariners’ lack of impact left-handed relievers, Tenuta could be a candidate to “come out of nowhere” mid-season and produce at the major-league level, which may lead to his protection this winter.
Additionally, the following minor leaguers are Rule 5 eligible: C Joe DeCarlo, C Juan Camacho, INF Chris Mariscal, 3B Logan Taylor, 3B Eugene Helder, OF Ian Miller, OF Anthony Jimenez, OF Ariel Sandoval, OF Chuck Taylor, OF Luis Liberato, OF Ronald Rosario, SP Anthony Misiewicz, SP Nick Wells, SP Ryne Inman, RP Matt Walker, RP Darin Gillies, RP Kyle Wilcox
Among these players, I think Joe DeCarlo, Ian Miller, Chuck Taylor, Anthony Misiewicz, and Kyle Wilcox appear to have the strongest outside shots at making the 40-man roster. However, each comes with legitimate reasons to be passed on both on the roster and during the draft, so their Rule 5 eligibility may not be as pertinent to Jerry Dipoto and the organization.