According to multiply reports, the New York Mets announced the additions of righthanded pitchers Zack Wheeler, Hansel Robles, Gonzalez Germen and Greg Burke, lefthanded pitcher Darin Gorski and infielder Wilfredo Tovar to the 40-man roster.
The move was made to protect them from being eligible for the Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, players are eligible for the Rule 5 draft for the first time:
- If they were 18 or younger on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is the fifth Rule 5 draft upcoming, or
- If they were 19 or older on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is fourth Rule 5 draft upcoming.
Rubin goes on to state the following in a post to his blog:
“Because Wheeler was born on May 30, 1990 and signed after the 2009 draft, he was 19 years old on the June 5 that year. This is the fourth Rule 5 draft since his signing, making him eligible. If Wheeler had been born a week later — making him 18 that June 5 — he would not need to be protected for another year.”
Wheeler was 12-8 with 148 strikeouts over 149 innings of work between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo. The former S.F. Giants prospect was named to the Eastern League All-Star team and pitched in the 2012 Futures Game in Kansas City. Following the news of being added to the 40-man roster, Wheeler tweeted the following:
Robles, 22, was 6-1 while allowing nine earned runs over 72 2/3 innings pitched in 12 starts for Brooklyn. His 1.11 ERA was a New York Pen League best, earning his a spot on the leagues All-Star team
Germen was 12-12 allowing 74 earned runs over 153 1/3 innings (4.34 ERA ) in 26 games (24 starts) while making stops at all three of the Mets Minor League affiliates in 2012.
Burke, 30, was 3-1 with a 1.53 ERA and 17 saves while pitching in the Baltimore Orioles minor league system last season.
Gorski, 25, went 9-8 with a 4.00 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) for Double-A Binghamton.
Tovar, 21, combined to hit .270 with 28 doubles, three triples, one home run, while driving in 50 run and swiping 14 bases over 122 games between Single-A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton in 2012.
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