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Rule 5 Draft Thread/Winter Meetings Wrap Up

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The busiest Winter Meetings for the Cubs in many years will have its final day Thursday.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The last day of the Winter Meetings is usually much quieter than the previous days; the only real activity is the Rule 5 draft.

The Cubs' acquisitions of Jon Lester, Jason Hammel and Miguel Montero fill the 40-man roster. Thus, it doesn't seem likely they'll select anyone in the major-league phase of the draft, because they'd then have to clear a 40-man spot. Further, Theo Epstein has stated that the Cubs might make another "minor" acquisition soon, and I'm assuming that could be Jonny Gomes. If so, there will have to be a space cleared for him.

The Cubs don't really need a Rule 5 guy this year. After many failures, they got a keeper in Hector Rondon and I give Theo & Co. much credit for rescuing him out of the Indians system, being patient with him for a year and easing him into the closer role at which he excelled for much of the second half of 2014. That gets a "Well done" from me.

It's not clear who the Cubs might lose, if anyone, in this year's draft, though the names Gioskar Amaya and Marco Hernandez, both infielders, have been floated as players other teams might be interested in. Both are 21 and neither has played above the A-ball level. Another name floated as someone who might be picked up is Andrew McKirahan, a lefthanded reliever who spent 2014 split between High-A and Double-A.

If you're interested in the mechanics of the Rule 5 draft, Fangraphs has this excellent summary of how it all works. The draft is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. CT and there will be audio available at MLB.com.

Here's another thing of Cubs interest that will happen today:

Hm. Seems to me that if the Cubs are owed a player from the Athletics and owe one to the Red Sox, why not just put those teams in contact and have Billy Beane send a player over to Ben Cherington?

Likely, it doesn't work that way, and we'll hear of a minor-league acquisition by the Cubs from Beane and Theo will send someone else Cherington's way.

And then we can all exhale for a while and revel in a week that's been the best offseason one for the Cubs in many, many years.