Even after a three-for-one trade, additional players within the Yankees organization cannot be added to the 40-man roster for protection from the Rule 5 draft. Players acquired in a trade can be protected, but the Yankees’ chance to protect their own came and went on November 20.
That means the same guys who were Rule 5 eligible yesterday will still be Rule 5 eligible on Thursday. The Yankees can’t protect Colin Curtis now that they’ve traded Austin Jackson. The trade does kind of make the Curtis Rule 5 situation a little more interesting. Beyond him, there really aren’t a lot of could-be-called-up-for-outfield-depth options in the upper levels of the system.
The good news for the Yankees is that I’ve heard Rule 5 infielders stick as much as three times as often as outfielders. I honestly don’t know if that’s true, but that’s what a minor league guru once told me. It helps explain why the Yankees protected three infielders, but left Curtis exposed.
UPDATE, 6:55 p.m.: There has been some discussion about the Yankees possibly taking one of their own players in the Rule 5 draft, and then sending him directly to the minors. Over at Baseball America, Jim Callis actually touched on the rules of sending a Rule 5 pick to the minors. He even specifically mentioned what happens when a Rule 5 pick is traded.