Tigers protect Angel Nesbitt, Dixon Machado from Rule 5 draft, but not Joel Hanrahan
The Detroit Tigers got a head start on protecting young players from the Rule 5 draft, adding a bunch of them to the 40-man roster during the season.
That, of course, was because they had to use them.
Thursday was the deadline to ensure a player’s protection on the 40-man roster before the Rule 5 draft takes place at the Winter Meetings in three weeks, and the Tigers purchased the contracts of a pair of youngsters — reliever Angel Nesbitt and infielder Dixon Machado — to finalize that process.
With the 40-man roster full, the Tigers can’t take part in the draft itself, without clearing a spot for the player they’d want to pick.
The 23-year-old Nesbitt split the season between Single-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie in 2014, posting an overall ERA of 1.49 with 72 strikeouts in 66.2 innings of work.
Now 22, Machado finally started growing into his bat, hitting .286 with 39 extra-base hits between Lakeland and Erie, including a .305 average after his promotion to the Seawolves.
The Tigers also left recently re-signed reliever Joel Hanrahan off the 40-man roster. Theoretically, Hanrahan — who signed an incentive-laden minor league deal with the Tigers — is eligible to be selected, but the team that picked him would owe him the full value of the contract, at a reported $3.5 million with roster bonuses. One of the stipulations of the Rule 5 draft is that the selecting team must keep the player on the big-league roster (or DL) for the entire season, or offer him back to his original team.