Rays Protect Four From Rule 5 Draft, More Moves To Come?
Today was the deadline for teams to add players to their 40-man roster to protect them from being selected in the Rule 5 draft that is conducted on the final day of the winter league meetings (December 9 through December 13th). The Rays added pitchers Kirby Yates , Jesse Hahn , and C.J. Riefenhauser  (LHP) and infielder Vince Belnome .
Riefenhauser worked a scoreless 7th inning at the MLB Futures game which took place just 58 miles from his hometown. Sports Talk Florida’s Matthew Sardo caught up with him after the game:
The purpose of the Rule 5 draft is to prevent organizations from stockpiling minor league talent; therefore, players signed at age 18 must be added to a 40-man roster within five seasons and players singed at 19 years older have to be protected after four seasons.
Clubs pay $50,000 to an organization to select an eligible player and have to keep the player on their active 25-man roster for the entire season (and at least 95 non-disabled list days) or offer the player back to the original organization for $25,000.
Entering today’s deadline the Rays roster stood at 33 and they had a number of players that a decision had to be made on. Neil Solondz of Rays Radio published a list of players on the Rays Radio Blog  that he felt were most likely to be considered for the 40-man protection. His list included infielders Vince Belnome  and Cole Figueroa , outfielder Todd Glaessmann , and pitchers Jesse Hahn , Merrill Kelly ,Braulio Lara , Adam Liberatore , C.J. Riefenhauser , and Kirby Yates .
There are still important major league dates that will affect the roster as discussed by R.J. Anderson of the Process Report . Clubs have until December 2nd to tender contracts to players that have options. According to Anderson the Rays have ten players that they have to make decisions on.
He lists left handed relievers Jeff Beliveau , Wesley Wright , and Cesar Ramos  and right handed reliever Josh Lueke  and position players Sam Fuld  and Chris Gimenez  as players that may be moved off the roster between now and the end of the winter.