Detroit Tigers lead way with Rule 5 picks

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Major league teams are getting an extra roster spot in 2020, and clubs went fishing for options at the Rule 5 draft Thursday.

The Detroit Tigers selected right-hander Rony Garcia from the New York Yankees with the first pick at the winter meetings draft of unprotected minor leaguers. Eleven players were selected during the major league portion, and clubs must keep those players on the major league roster for all of next season or else offer them back to their original team for half of the $100,000 selection fee.

Good news for this year’s batch of big league hopefuls: More jobs are available.

Active rosters are growing by one to 26 next season through Aug. 31, with expanded September rosters slimmed from 40 to 28.

Detroit selected outfielder Victor Reyes with the first pick in the Rule 5 draft in 2017, stashed him successfully, then got a promising result in 2019 when Reyes broke out with a .304 average in 69 games.