Thursday meetings update: Rule 5, and out
Baseball's winter meetings wrap up around noon today, with the possibility that the biggest news today could be the Rule 5 draft of minor-league players not on 40-man roster.
The Rays have the 24th pick, and an open spot on their roster, but are not likely to make a pick. Selected players have to stay on the major-league roster all season (which would be unusual) or be offered back. Plus, they must stay on the 40-man roster until at least March 12, occupying a spot the team could otherwise need this winter.
The Rays could lose a prospect or two along the way, with some chatter that the Royals are interested in INF Cole Figueroa, who had a solid season after being acquired last year from San Diego in the Jason Bartlett trade. RHP Nick Barnese, C Mark Thomas, RHP Marquis Fleming are among other names being tossed around.
There could be resolution today on the free-agent pursuit of LHP C.J. Wilson, who reportedly was leaning toward the Angels over the Marlins. There is not expected to be a decision by Albert Pujols, who continued talking with the Angels and a supposed third mystery team even though it would seem he is headed back to St. Louis.