The Dodgers were busy Tuesday night, adding five players to the 40-man roster to protect them from being selected in December’s Rule 5 draft. The group includes top catching prospect Keibert Ruiz, infielders Edwin Rios and Matt Beaty, and right-handed pitchers Yadier Alvarez and Josh Sborz
To make room for the newcomers, Los Angeles designated pitchers Erik Goeddel and Zac Rosscup, along with infielder Tim Locastro. The Dodgers also released right-hander Tom Koehler.
A trio of players were left unprotected by the club, meaning a club could draft them during the winter meetings December 13. Infielders Drew Jackson and Christian Santana join pitcher Andrew Sopko as eligible for selection.
Those players who signed with their current club at age 18 or younger and have played professionally for at least five years qualify, as do those who signed at 19 or older and have at least four years of professional experience.
Ruiz — second only to Alex Verdugo in Dodger prospect status — is coming off a year in Double-A that saw him hit .268/.328/.401 with 12 homers and 14 doubles. Now 20, the switch-hitting catcher walked 26 times against 33 strikeouts as a 19-year-old in the Texas League.
Rios and Beaty have both played the corner infield spots and a little outfield, making it to Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. In 88 games with OKC, Rios slugged 35 extra-base hits while hitting .304/.355/.482 as a 24-year-old. Beaty only appeared in 31 games due to an early season injury, going 28-for-101 (.277) with 10 doubles.
Alvarez at one point was held in high regard in the Dodgers’ system before falling off a little over the last two seasons. The right-hander still throws hard and is talented enough at 22 if he can gain some kind of command of where he is throwing it. Alvarez strikes out around 10 batters per nine innings, but walks about seven.
Drafted in the 2nd round back in 2015, Josh Sborz spent 2018 as a reliever. In 46 game between Tulsa and OKC, the 24-year-old was 4-2 with a 3.88 ERA, striking out 71 in 53 1⁄3 innings.
Being on the 40-man roster means a major league contract as well. That is a split contract, with separate rates for their time in the minors and majors. But just being on the 40-man roster means at the very least a minimum minor league salary of $45,300. The minimum raises to $90,400 for those not on their first major league deals.
Goeddel, who missed the last six weeks of the season with an elbow injury, appeared in 22 games for the Dodgers after being claimed off waivers in May. The right-hander posted a 3.38 ERA and walked 4.6 batters per nine innings.
The Dodgers used Rosscup sparingly after acquiring him in July from the Rockies. The lefty only pitched 11 1⁄3 innings over 17 appearances and gave up six runs on nine hits and four walks to the 47 batters he faced.
Locastro spent most of the last two seasons in Triple-A but became a late season speed guy for the Dodgers off the bench, stealing four bases in four attempts and scoring six runs in 18 games.
What was supposed to be a late-inning reliever in place of Brandon Morrow, it didn’t pan out for Koehler. The right-hander needed season-ending shoulder surgery in July and never threw a pitch for the Dodgers during the regular season.