The Dodgers on Tuesday selected four players to the 40-man roster, protecting them from being plucked in next month’s Rule 5 Draft. Catcher Diego Cartaya, infielder Michael Busch, outfielder Andy Pages, and outfielder Jonny DeLuca were added to the roster.
Players signed at 18 years old or younger need to be added to the 40-man roster after five years, and players signed at 19 or older must be added to the roster after four years, or else they’re eligible to be picked in the Rule 5 Draft. This year, the Rule 5 Draft is on December 7 at the winter meetings in San Diego.
Cartaya is the Dodgers top prospect, ranked the eighth-best prospect in all of baseball in MLB Pipeline’s list toward the end of the season, rated ninth by Baseball America, and 31st by FanGraphs. He was named the Branch Rickey Award winner as the Dodgers minor league player of the year, and played in the Futures Game during the All-Star break, giving him a taste of playing in Dodger Stadium.
During the season, Cartaya started the year where he ended in 2021, in Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, before getting promoted to High-A Great Lakes at the end of May. He hit in both places, with a 142 wRC+ for the Quakes and a 138 wRC+ with the Loons. In all, the catcher hit .254/.389/.503 with 22 home runs, 22 doubles, and 63 walks in 95 games.
The Dodgers signed Cartaya out of Venezuela in July 2018. He just turned 21 in September, making Cartaya the youngest player on the 40-man roster.
Busch was drafted in the first round out of North Carolina in 2019, and hit .274/.365/.516 with 32 home runs, and 38 doubles in 2022 between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City. He struck out 167 times, third-most in the Dodgers minors, at a 26.1-percent rate.
Busch played the bulk of his time in the field at second base the last two seasons, starting 205 games at the position. He also started 13 games in left field in 2022, a position he played at times in college, when he was mostly a first baseman.
He’s ranked 42nd among major league prospects by MLB Pipeline, 46th by Baseball America, and 75th at FanGraphs. Busch was a non-roster invitee in each of the last two spring trainings.
Busch turned 25 on November 9.
Pages hit .236/.336/.468, a 102 wRC+ with 26 home runs and 29 doubles as the youngest player for Double-A Tulsa at age 21, and one of the youngest players in the Texas League. Pages led the Drillers in total bases (228), doubles, RBI (80), runs scored (69), and walks (62).
He was rated the No. 72 prospect in the sport by Baseball America, whose scouting report noted, “It’s power that has played in games through Double-A, but it does come with the fee of a high strikeout rate.” Pages struck out 140 times in 2022, though his 24.5-percent K rate wasn’t too far out of line with the 23.2-percent rate Texas League-wide rate.
Signed out of Cuba in 2018, Pages hit .300/.389/.500 with five home runs in 24 games in the Arizona Fall League, making the Fall Stars Game and participating in the first AFL home run derby.
DeLuca hit .260/.347/.541 with a 134 wRC+, 25 home runs and 22 doubles in 98 games between High-A Great Lakes and Double-A Tulsa, and stole 17 bases in 19 attempts.
As part of the 40-man roster, Cartaya, Busch, Pages, and DeLuca will earn a higher salary while in the minors. Per the collective bargaining agreement, the minimum salary in 2023 for minor league players on their first 40-man roster is $58,800.
The Dodgers now have 37 players on the 40-man roster.