The Indians added five players to the 40-man roster today:
They purchased the contract Bryan Price (RHP) from the AAA Columbus Clippers.
They purchased the contracts of Austin Adams (RHP), Jesus Aguilar (INF), and Carlos Moncrief (OF) from AA Akron Rubber Ducks (it will take a while before I can write that without having to remember they are no longer the Aeros).
They purchased the contract of Erik Gonzalez (INF) from A Carolina Mudcats.
These five prospects are now protected from the Rule 5 Draft, meaning that they cannot be drafted by another team. One familiar player who was not protected is infielder Cord Phelps, who was designated for assignment. The Indians now have 10 days to trade or release him or, if he clears waivers, outright him to a minor league affiliate. Between 2011 and 2013, Phelps appeared in a total of 53 games with the Indians, with a .221/.248/.469 line. He appeared in 20 games at 2nd base in 2011, but was outplayed and outhit by Jason Kipnis and never seemed to be able to fully make the transition to the majors.
The Rule 5 Draft differs from the June First-Year Player Draft in that it covers professional players, not amateurs. A player is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if he is not placed on the 40-man roster after four years and was 19 at the time of signing or if he has not made the 40-man roster after five years and was was 18 when signed. Teams who draft unprotected players (i.e., those not on the roster) must pay the team from which the player was selected $50,000 and keep him on the 25-man roster for the entire next season and must be active for at least 90 days. If the player doesn’t remain on the major league roster, he’s offered back to the original club for $25,000. MLB.com has a full explanation here. The Rule 5 Draft takes place December 12 at the end of the Baseball Winter Meetings.