I know it doesn’t have a chance in the world of happening, and the Mariners are almost certain to pass when the Rule 5 draft comes along, but I’m going to campaign for the selection of Chris Shelton anyways. The Pirates decided that the 2003 Carolina League MVP was not worth protecting, mainly because he lacks the athletic ability of, well, normal human beings. He’s a classic Oakland ballplayer; he’s not in very good shape, doesn’t have a natural position, is historically slow, and can hit the snot out of the baseball.
He split time between catcher and first base, though few teams would be willing to carry him as an everyday catcher thanks to below average catch-and-throw skills. Most teams view him as a DH and question whether he has that kind of power. I don’t think Shelton is an all-star, but he’s got a shot to be an interesting backup catcher/lefty mashing pinch-hitter for the league minimum.
I did a more thorough analysis on Shelton over at Baseball Prospectus, though its for Premium Subscribers only. If you haven’t subscribed to get more of Derek yet, well, what on earth are you waiting for?
So, there you go. My new endorsed Rule 5 Selection that has no chance on earth of happening. Its a sure bet that Shelton breaks camp with one of Oakland/Toronto/San Diego/Boston/Colorado though.
Some people had suggested “Lurch” and I dismissed them until some anonymous soul suggested that I look up Carel Struycken… and lo, I believe we have a new leading Bavasi look-alike
By the way, today is the deadline to set the 40 man roster to protect players from the Rule 5 draft. The Mariners have added Greg Dobbs, Clint Nageotte, Cha Baek, and (hooray!) Justin Leone to the 40 man, which brings the total to 37 after the Ibanez signing. However, since they seem intent on signing several more free agents, there is a strong possibility that not all of these players will stick on the 40 man through the entire offseason.
The most likely players who would be outrighted back to the minors are Dobbs, Ryan Anderson, Ryan Christensen, and Aaron Looper.
Correction from original post: Allan Simpson was indeed added to the 40 man roster on October 13th, which I even reported on at the time. He is not listed on the team’s 40 man roster on their website, but he is not eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 draft. More good news.